History of Philosophy and Christian Thought - Lesson 5


Fundamental beliefs of a naturalistic worldview is that nothing exists outside the physical universe and that all things evolved.

Ronald Nash
History of Philosophy and Christian Thought
Lesson 5
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Pre-Socratic Philosophy

Part 4

VI. Naturalism

A. Contemporary

1. Christian Worldview

a. God exits outside the box.

b. God created the box.

c. God acts as a cause inside the box.

2. Worldview of Naturalism

a. Nothing exists outside the box.

b. The universe is eternal.

c. All things evolved.

3. Bertrand Russell

B. Ancient

1. Atomists (Leucippus and Democritus [460-371 B.C.])

a. Atoms

b. Empty Space

2. Epicurus (341-271 B.C.)

a. Free Will

b. Indeterminism

  • Thales and Anaximander were two philosophers in the sixth century BC that lived in Miletus.

  • Heraclitus and Pythagoras lived into the 5th century BC.

  • Any worldview addresses the subjects of God, ultimate reality, human knowledge, ethics and human persons.

  • Fundamental beliefs of a naturalistic worldview is that nothing exists outside the physical universe and that all things evolved.

  • Plato was a student of Socrates and lived into the fourth century BC. He opposed hedonism, empiricism, relativism, materialism, atheism and naturalism.

  • Plato described the universe as having three levels: the world of particulars, the world of forms, and the form of the good.

  • Plato's view of the universe was dualistic.

  • One of Plato's fundamental arguments is that the human soul is immortal.

  • Evaluation of Plato's arguments and comparison of Plato's philosophy with biblical theology.

  • Empiricism teaches that all human knowledge arises from sense experience. Rationalism teaches that some human knowledge does not arise from sense. experience

  • Aristotle was a student of Plato and lived in the fourth century BC.

  • Aristotle rejected Plato's doctrine of two worlds.

  • Discussion of Aristotelian philosophy as it relates to the incarnation.

  • Aristotle's philosophy as it relates to attributes of God and fundamental assumptions about psychology.

  • Aristotle made a distinction between passive intellect and active intellect.

  • Discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the law of non-contradiction.

  • Discussion of the nature and substance of matter.

  • Hellenistic philosophy was an approach that was popular from the fourth century BC to the fifth century AD.

  • Stoics were determinists who believed in living according to nature.

  • Hedonism emphasized pleasure as the greatest good. "Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we might be dead."

  • Philo's philosophy was based on a synthesis of Stoicism and Platonism.

  • Implicit "Logos" Christianity is an underlying theme in the book of Hebrews.

  • Plotinus lived in the third century AD and is considered the founder of Neoplatonism.

  • Augustine is a Latin church father, is considered by many to be one of the most important figures in the development of Western Christianity.

  • Augustine wrote Confessions as an autobiographical work to record his experience as a sinful youth and his experience becoming a follower of Christ.

  • Augustine wrote to refute some heresies of the day by focusing on the concepts of faith and reason.

  • Augustine writes about the problem of evil and describes evil as the absence of good.

  • Augustine writes to refute Pelagianism by focusing on the biblical teaching about sin.

  • Augustine writes to refute Donatism.

  • The fundamental idea of skepticism is that no one can know anything. Augustine this statement contradicts itself because the skeptic is claiming that you can know that you can't know anything.

  • When Augustine wrote "The City of God," he had a linear view of history.

  • In Augustine's theory of knowledge, he says that eternal reason and human reason are two different levels of reason.

  • Augustine was personally convinced of the importance of divine illumination.

  • The intellectual background of Thomas Aquinas was influenced by the discovery of ancient manuscripts, the rise of universities, the rise of religious brotherhoods and the rise of Muslim philosophy.

  • Aquinas describes faith as whatever a human can know through special revelation, and reason as whatever a human can know outside of special revelation.

  • Aquinas attempts to prove God's existence.

  • Aquinas describes four kinds of law as eternal, divine, natural and positive.

  • The rationalists and empiricists set the stage for Kant and other philosophers of the modern era.

  • Kant argued that moral requirements are based on a standard of rationality he dubbed the “Categorical Imperative."

  • Kants two worlds are the phenomenal world and the noumenal world.

  • Discussion of criticisms and questions about Kant's ideas.

  • Similarities between Kant's ideas and postmodernism.

  • The dialectic is a central idea in Hegel's philosophy.

  • Ideally, Marxism begins with class struggle, then revolution, dictatorship of the proletariat, withering away of the state, and a utopian classless society.

  • Discussion of four faces of Marxism.

  • Nietzsche proclaimed that, "God is dead." His cure was to live life knowing there is no ultimate meaning. Kierkegaard emphasized a worldview based on true faith.

In this class, you will explore the rich history of philosophy and its relationship with Christian thought. The course begins with an introduction to the definition and importance of philosophy in Christian theology. You will then delve into the evolution of philosophical thought from the Pre-Socratic era, through the Classical Greek philosophers, and into the Hellenistic period. As you progress, you will discover how early Christian thought emerged and developed during the Patristic period, with a special focus on Augustine. The class continues with an examination of medieval Christian thinkers, such as Anselm and Thomas Aquinas, and concludes with an analysis of modern philosophers like Descartes, Kant, and Kierkegaard, and their influence on contemporary Christian thought.

Two other books that are recommended reading for this class are Confessions by Augustine and Phaedo by Plato.


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    Lesson Transcript


    Last week. Just to review, we introduced you briefly to Worldview Thinking and a great deal of the material that I did not cover in the lecture can of course, be found in Chapter one of Life's Ultimate questions. Then for the next six chapters, we will look at six of the most important worldviews in the history of thinking through the Middle Ages. We spend a lot of time then last session, dealing with these strange unnamed people that we call the Pre-socratic. Now, there were four reasons why we spent so much time talking about the Pre-socratic reason. Number one, some of you are having trouble naming your children. Okay, so we wanted to give you a whole lot of new names. Heraclitus, Smith, Xenophon is Jones and Thalia's Brow and all of these other interesting philosophers. Of course, you also learned last week this is not one of my four points here, that I was born on the birthday of philosophy. I just want to mention that again, because not everybody was born on the birthday of philosophy. A second reason to study the Pre-socratic is because this is called the history of philosophy and Christian thought. And these are the people who started the history of philosophy. They are also the people who started the history of science. If you found their thinking weird, then forget that they were philosophers and just remember that they were also the first scientists say. So attach the adjective weird to the founders of science, not necessarily the founders of philosophy. Thirdly, this stuff is interesting. When I first started to teach this course here ten years ago, I spent two weeks a total of 6 hours just dealing with the pre-socratic because there's a lot of interesting stuff there.


    [00:02:41] It can be a lot of fun and I've had to cut a lot of that out because time is short. And then the fourth reason why it's important for us to study the Pre-socratic is because nobody ever thinks in a cognitive vacuum. Let me repeat that. I know some of you were saying, or I hope I never get in a cognitive vacuum. I'm thinking of other punch lines to that, but I won't. Nobody ever thinks in a cognitive vacuum. All of our thinking reflects everything that is going on in our intellectual lives up to the present. Okay, well, Socrates and Plato didn't just get out of bed one day and say, Well, what am I going to do today and say, I know, I'll think no. They were always interacting with the people who came before them. And now, you know the names of some of the people who did come before them. I'm a little disappointed that I didn't get further last week than I did. We still have one group of pre-socratic us to look at, and they were called in their day the outermost. And if you turn to page the second page of your little outline, we'll find the names of the outermost. It's the very last paragraph on the second page. And once again, you will notice that I am skipping a lot of people. I've skipped Xeno a follower of palm entities and I've skipped Empedocles and I've skipped Anaxagoras. You can learn about them in in various books. We're going to talk about the outermost. And there were two ancient animists. One of them was named Leucippus. And we don't even have dates for Leucippus. So therefore you don't have to worry about it. Okay. And the second one was Democritus.


    [00:04:57] And we do have dates for Democritus. Approximately 462 371 B.C. According to tradition, Leucippus would have been the founder of the atoms movement. He perhaps was Democritus, his teacher. But their views are so far as I know, indistinguishable. And so we will only be talking about Democritus next point. Not only was Democritus an outermost, he was perhaps the quintessential naturalist of the ancient world. And those of you who have read chapter two of your text know that the first worldview that we're going to examine in any detail is the worldview of naturalism. Now, of course, I told you in the last session that most of the most of the pre-socratic were naturalists. But we're going to give you a fuller explanation of what naturalism is during the process of this of this little material. Here's how we're going to cover naturalism. First of all, I'm going to say some things about contemporary naturalism. That is, we're going to forget the ancient world for a little while contemporary, and we're going to talk about contemporary naturalism. And this is where I'm going to give you my definition of naturalism. I'm going to give you a diagram. Now I need another day for my sermon, my three point sermon, a definition, a diagram. The first the first D that comes to my mind is damnable. But I guess I want that. I won't use that here. I'm going to give you a long quote from two long quotes from Bertrand Russell. Okay. Then we will go back to ancient naturalism and we'll give you an exposition of the of Democritus and his atomism and that stuff. Okay. First of all, let me give you a definition of naturalism. This is a worldview that teachers that the entire universe is self explanatory.


    [00:07:29] The universe does not depend upon anything else for its existence. It does not need anything else for its existence. It is a totally self explanatory system. There is no need to refer to God or any other supernatural force or power to explain anything that exists. That would be a shorthand definition of naturalism. Over the years, a certain way of picturing this has has come to me. In fact, this diagram first occurred to me back in 1990 when I was preparing a set of lectures contrasting the Christian worldview with the worldview of Soviet style Marxism. Marxism-Leninism. What you see on your screen here or on the board is a closed box. There are no openings in this box. The box is sealed. No door, no window outside the box. I am writing the word nothing. And inside the box, I am writing the term natural order. Every naturalist really holds to this picture, this model, this diagram of reality. A naturalist. A naturalist believes that every thing that exists exists as a part of exists within this sealed box. Inside the box is the entire universe. The natural order. And outside the box, there is nothing. There is no God. There isn't. There is nothing else that exists outside the box. If anything happens, it happens inside the box and it is caused by something else within the box as well. Now, in the apologetics course, I go into greater detail here and contrast the Christian worldview with the naturalistic worldview, and I do it in this way. Christians recognize the existence of nature. Obviously we're not. Although you must realize there are some worldviews, i.e. Hinduism, that deny or some forms of Hinduism that deny the reality of the physical universe. Christians don't do that.


    [00:10:12] And so we recognize the existence of the natural order. We have no quarrel with any of the physical sciences. We're not at war with physics, biology or chemistry. Our war is with certain philosophies of science. See what you have here. And naturalism is not science. It is a religious worldview in which there is no God. But it is still a religious worldview. Now, according to the Christian worldview, the world exists, but it is not a closed system. There is a door. There is a window. And outside of nature, there is God. And when I gave this message to my Russian audiences, I used to put it in three basic terms. There are three ways in which the Christian worldview differs from Let's assume you're my Russian audience here. This is how the Christian worldview differs from Marxism-Leninism. All right. Naturalism has become a part of a whole large number of worldviews Marxism-Leninism, humanism, just hardcore theism, materialism. This is also the pop religion of America's public schools, in case you don't know it. All right. You may write that down, too, and give me credit for that. Now, here are the three ways in which the Christian worldview differs from naturalism. Number one, God exists outside the box. Number two, God created the box. Boy, did I get a interesting response from my Russian audiences ten years ago. Everything that you Soviets were taught is important to you couldn't exist unless God had created the universe. And thirdly, God acts as a cause inside of the universe. And one of the ways in which God acts as a cause within the universe is through miracles. Well, I don't want to spend any more time on all of that because we do that in the apologetics course.


    [00:12:29] Now, please notice a couple of other points if you're a naturalist. First of all, you cannot appeal. You cannot make reference to anything else that exists outside the box. There can be no miracles. There can be nothing that is supernatural in a Judeo-Christian Christian kind of way. The reason why you don't you naturalists don't believe in the virgin birth and the bodily resurrection is not because you're smarter than us. The reason you don't believe in those things is because your naturalistic worldview won't allow you to believe in those things. Okay. Secondly, a naturalist must believe the universe is eternal because even a naturalist recognizes that. And if there ever was a time that the universe didn't exist, there would be nothing. Today, the world must be eternal. Because if the universe didn't exist, you wouldn't have anything today. Even if for a naturalist, the universe were going to prove to be infinitely big at some point in the future. My use of a closed box is still appropriate. For this reason. I'm not using the box to indicate the size of the universe. Now, this is a good point. So I want to just say this for the audience that obviously I'm not using the closed box to indicate the signs of the universe. I'm using the box to indicate that whatever the size of the universe proves to be. There is nothing else outside the universe. Okay, so there would be some dissent with this, but the point is clear. There is no God. There is nothing beyond the natural order that can be used to explain the universe. And if someone wants to take exception with my claim that a naturalist must believe the universe is eternal, I'm referring to the fact that it must be eternally old, even if someday because of entropy or the second law of dynamic thermodynamics or something else, the universe will end up being destroyed.


    [00:14:43] It's. It's still eternally old. Next point, if you're on if you're a naturalist, you must also be you all. You must also believe in evolution because there can be no purpose, there can be no design, there can be no plan, there can be no mind behind anything that is going on in the universe. Even what we call the human mind has to be reduced to something quite different. So the reason why so many people in the world today are religious devotees of evolution is because their world view can't allow them to believe in any kind of purpose or plan that might have produced brought us to this point in in the world. Now, I want to give you two quotations from one of the famous naturalists of contemporary philosophy, and that would be Bertrand Russell. And let's find this quote in your book. It would be chapter two. It would be fairly close. Here it is. Page 42 in your book. Now, I suppose the day is going to come when some college students graduates won't know who Bertrand Russell was. Russell was was. He was known as Lord Russell. He was born to a family that had received a title from some earlier king. Briefly in his life, he did believe in the existence of God. And then he went to Oxford. And a lot. Yeah. I think he believed in God for three months while he was at at know at Cambridge. He went to Trinity College in Cambridge. And I've walked those grounds. Incidentally, if you ever get to England, you must visit Cambridge and go inside the gate to Trinity College and then say to yourself as you walk around. Isaac Newton may have stood right here. This might have been the apple tree where the apple hit Isaac Newton in the head.


    [00:16:54] And then you can look around and say, What hit Bertrand Russell? And they head. All right. All right. Now let me read these quotations from Bertrand Russell. And one of the reasons I'm reading them is to make you excited about life. All right. This is a monday. And I know people are normally depressed on a monday. So I want to give you some enthusiasm for the rest of today. Here we go. That man is the product of causes which had no prevision prevision of the end. They were achieving that man's origin, growth, hopes and fears his loves and beliefs are, but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms. This is, you know that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling can preserve an individual life beyond the grave. You know what that means? When you're dead, you're dead. Let's keep reading here. Are you feeling better now that all the labors of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system. And the whole temple of man's achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins. This makes even the Planet of the Apes sound good. You know all these things, if not quite beyond dispute. Well, that's a nice little qualification there, Mr. Russell. In other words, there are people who disagree with you, Mr. Russell. All these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Just stop the tape. That's to quote a contemporary radio host. All right. Let me see. Bertrand Russell has been dead for 50 years. Okay. The Christian faith is starting its third millennium.


    [00:19:15] Mr. Russell, your views are doing very well right now, but let's keep going here. Only within the scaffolding of these truths. Incidentally, within naturalism, there are no truths. He's cheating here. Only within the scaffolding of these truths. Only on the firm foundation of the unyielding despair. Can the soul's habitation henceforth be safely built. The word is the three students who've read this book went out and jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge after reading these paragraphs. This is horrible stuff. Second passage from Bertrand Russell. Grief and power. Incidentally, in the original manuscript to this book, which was inerrant, I might add, in the inerrant original manuscript. I added a sentence and which my editor deleted. It's a good thing Paul didn't have an editor. All right, the editor. I said, Can you imagine, after writing this, Bertrand Russell going out and saying, Have a nice day. Have a nice day. Brief and powerless, this man's life on him and all his race. The slow, sure doom falls pitiless and dark, blind to good and evil, Reckless of destruction. Omnipotent matter rolls on its relentless way. I wish I could roll my arms like Vincent Price, the old horror movie star. What is omnipotent matter? Condemned today to lose his dearest tomorrow himself to pass through the gate of darkness. It remains only to cherish heir. Yet the blow falls the lofty thoughts that ennoble his little day. Wow. You know, the last time I read this stuff, three students left the seminary and never came back. But this is not the right. This is not the truth. This is not the right worldview. Bertrand Russell was so famous that he once taught a course at Columbia University. This would have been around 1940, and he was teaching in a room that had an artificial light.


    [00:21:49] It would be somewhat like this. All right? Only it looked like it was they. The rest of the room was dark, and Russell must have just read those paragraphs and somebody some student challenged him at Columbia University. No, no student at Columbia has ever challenged a professor since then. Must have been a football player. Anyway, some student challenged Bertrand Russell and he said, Listen, I am as certain of the words that I have just spoken as I am, that that's the sun shining up there. Oh, well, that's the kind you know, the truth is that throughout his life, Bertrand Russell changed his philosophy about as often as he changed his mistress's. That's the truth. Every time he changed a mistress, he changed his worldview. But he never, except for three months as a freshman at Trinity College, did he believe in the existence of God. This is naturalism, contemporary naturalism. Later on, we'll refute naturalism. Or if you want to know, I guess if you want a refutation, we'll do it in the apologetics course. Now let's go back to ancient naturalism and let's talk about Democritus, and then let's talk about Epicurus, and then we'll start talking about some good stuff in Plato. So now we're we're going to talk about ancient naturalism right here. Ancient naturalism? Yeah. And that would be the atomism of Democritus. Democritus explained all of reality in terms of two things atoms and empty space. For Democritus, the universe was infinitely law large. Does that not contradict my use of the square? No, because as I've already said in response to a brilliant comment from a student that even if the universe is perceived to be infinitely large, the purpose of my square is to show that there is nothing supernatural beyond the universe or in the universe.


    [00:24:08] Okay, so you've got an infinitely large universe full of empty space and you've got an infinite number of atoms. Now, what is an atom? Let me define it for you. The word atom comes from two Greek terms. A is the Greek prefix of negation. Tom, would that that those three letters from our word atom come from a Greek word that means divisible. So whatever an atom is, it is indivisible. It is a solid, corporeal, indivisible piece of matter with no properties at all, with no properties. In other words, the atoms have no color, they have no taste, they have no smell. Even though these tasteless, odorless pieces of matter are the basis of the world that is full of tastes and colors and so on. The atoms differ in only a couple of ways. They differ in size and they differ in shape. So some atoms might be triangular, some atoms might be like this, some atoms might be like this, some are small, some are large, and these atoms are moving through empty space without any purpose, any rhyme, any reason. Now, let me pause for just a moment. One of the things that naturalists do to try and embarrass Christians is this They point out apparent problems in our Christian worldview. They say, why can't you Christians explain the existence of evil? Well, that's a tough problem. In the apologetics course, I try to show that we can do a fairly decent job trying to handle the problem of evil. But please notice here the questions that the naturalist can't answer. All right. Question one Why do the atoms exist? You want to know something? No naturalist even asks that question. The existence of the atoms is a given. Don't let anybody smoke you away with that.


    [00:26:54] All right? That's just simply saying we're assuming that the atoms exist. Oh, my hips are moving. Okay. Notice you and I are not allowed to say. The world exists because God created the world that won't satisfy an atom. US. But when we ask him, Why do the atoms exist? He says, Well, they're just a given. Well, let me quote Scarlett O'Hara fidelity. All right. So I can quote Robert Schuller. While I can quote Scarlett O'Hara, Fidelity, if you can if you can make your assumptions, I can make my assumptions. Question number two, where did this empty space come from? Do you know what empty space is? It's nothing. Right. Now, that's a little easier to explain than atoms. Nothing is easier to explain than something. Next question. Why do the atoms move? You want to know the real answer to that? Because unless there are atoms that move, you don't have a world. It's that simple. Don't expect an Adams to explain or to answer those questions. Now, you got these Adams moving. No explanation for why. And they're moving willy nilly. They're coming from all directions. And when they collide, two things can happen. First of all, they can ricochet off in another direction. Or sometimes they hook up and they hook up because they're, you know, I guess we're supposed to believe that these atoms have little, little hooks and they connect for a while. And when the atoms come together and stick together for a little while, they make up all of the things that we know in our experience. They make up bodies, they make up plants, they make up the food that we eat. They make up trees and water. It's kind of convenient that they hook up. Okay. And what are you.


    [00:29:04] You are a collection of atoms. Some of those atoms make up what we call your body. But some of those atoms also make up your your sense organs. And some of those atoms make up your mind. But please think. Here. What can you have? Thinking in an atomistic universe? Ah, ah. Are what we call thinking is just sick. What is electricity here? Well, I realize we're at an early stage of Atomism. Later, atoms will will perhaps come up with a better answer here. Now, let me see if there's some section here that I can read about Atomism that will give you a sense of the hopelessness of ancient Atomism at least. Page 44 of the last page. Page 44. Now let's let's look at the paragraph before that. So according to Democritus, the truth about the physical universe can be summed up in two words Atoms and the void. The void is empty space. Everything in the universe is a result of qualitatively indistinguishable atoms. See, there are no qualitative differences here. No color, texture, taste, smell, anything. Everything in the universe is a result of qualitatively indistinguishable atoms moving around the universe, bouncing into other atoms briefly, linking up with other atoms. The taste of an orange, the color of a tulip, The fragrance of a rose are reducible to the quantitatively different factors to which everything that exists can be reduced. All quality is an illusion. It is the way certain configurations of quantitatively different atoms appear to people. The ancient animals had another problem. Their universe was a machine devoid of purpose and design. But the universe we live in is full of order. Write this down and give me credit. Apple seeds always produce apple. Orange seeds always produce oranges. There's order in the universe.


    [00:31:24] There is LA gas in the universe. Consider two piles of apples and oranges. If we took the mechanistic, purposeless metaphysics of the ancient atoms, literally, they had no explanation for why apple seeds don't produce orange trees. Now, today. Adam, a contemporary naturalists do. But they're still their explanation is still mechanistic. But that never happens in the real world. Not only did the animals have difficulty explaining why there were atoms or why the atoms moved so conveniently, they also seem to have no way to explain the law. Like an orderly nature of the universe. The world we perceive is rich with color, taste, sounds and other properties. But the world of the outermost is colorless, tasteless and devoid of sound and so on. The atomism of Democritus was a mechanistic view of the universe that portrayed the universe as a machine purring along in ways that seemed to produce order and design. But this view is without any ability to explain that order and design. Okay. Now several hundred years pass and we come to a later ad almost named Epicurus. Yes. This is the same guy who made Hedonism famous. Now let me get a date for Epicurus. This date would be in the beginning of the chapter. Yeah, I can't. Well, I. If it would help if I'm in the right chapter. Epicurus dates 341 to 271 B.C.. Epicurus. Epicurus was a naturalist. He was anatomist. He agreed that the only two things that exist are atoms and the and empty space, the void. But Epicurus was embarrassed by the fact that Democritus had never explained why the atoms move. So Democritus, Epicurus said, I'm going to come up with an explanation of why the atoms move, and this is what it was. He said The atoms are all moving because they are falling through empty space, and empty space is infinite.


    [00:33:46] So these atoms are falling forever. Why do the atoms move? Why do the atoms fall now? Epicurus said They fall because we experience everything we experience. That's heavier than heavier than what seems to be falling. But what Adam, what Epicurus didn't recognize is the only reason things fall on our planet is because there is some mass of matter that attracts them. They're falling towards the center of the earth. But if you're an infinite space and there is nothing down here, you still have the same problem. Why are the atoms falling? But now Epicurus had a new problem. If the atoms are all falling in a straight line, how do you ever get combinations of atoms to make up the things that exist in the material universe? Okay. So Epicurus came up with an answer. He said, every once in a while and again my hips are moving all right. And remember, when my hips move, I'm uttering nonsense. Never my own nonsense, because I don't articulate nonsense the nonsense of somebody else. Epicurus said The atoms swerve, zip. Let's put that on the board. Zip. And when the atoms zip out of their own path, they then collide with atoms. And that brings into the creates the world that we're all familiar with. Now, let's give Epicurus a name. Let's call him the first Armenian. Okay. The first hour minimum. Notice the spelling. I've had about ten people email me in the last week and they've spelled R minion with an E. No, those. That's a that's a national group. Armenians. They're nice people. The Russians tried to kill all of the Armenians. They did. And then the Turks tried to kill them all. But we're not talking Armenians. We're talking Armenians. This is the first appearance in metaphysics of free will, of determinism.


    [00:36:12] All right. It is. Democritus was a determinist. He believed that. But he noticed two things. He was a determinist, but he also thought that everything was purposeless. Everything was a matter of blind, stupid luck. Here we have the declination of the atom. Would that make a good question on next week's quiz? The declination of the atom, the sudden inexplicable swerve. Now we have another question for which there is no naturalistic answer. Why do the atoms swerve? No reason. No explanation. The only reason is that without the declination of the atom, you wouldn't have a world. Isn't that nice? Isn't that convenient? Well, there is another word that we can apply to Epicurus here, and that is the word in determinism. If any of you stumbled in here as Armenians, just ask yourself this question. Is that the basis of your worldview? Some kind of inexplicable swerve. If you've stumbled in here as an determinist, why don't you read? Let's see. What chapter is it in your book? Let me just find it here in a moment. My chapter on free will. Chapter 15. Read that before you come back next week and ask yourself if you possess anything that resembles that kind of free will. Okay. Now what the people listening to the tape can't see is that there is a little smile at the corner of my mouth here. I'm maybe I'm having fun. Maybe you're not having fun. I don't know. Well, you can get the rest that you need to know about naturalism by reading the rest of the chapter. This is not a very encouraging world view. Let me just give you a couple of by. Remember the five basic parts of a worldview God, ultimate reality, ethics, human knowledge, and human nature.


    [00:38:30] What is what is the naturalistic worldview? No, God. Ultimate reality is a form of materialism in which there is no more ultimate explanation. Ethics. What is ethics? For both Democritus and Epicurus, the good life was a life of pursuing pleasure. Because what else is here? Okay. How can you have pleasure without consciousness? Hmm? Do you just say, Ooh, that feels good? No. You're conscious of that pleasure. In order to have pleasure. There must be something we call a mind. And read the chapter and see how impossible it is for naturalist to give explanations for consciousness or mind. But what other kind? So for them, the good life becomes a life in which you you achieve the greatest amount of pleasure available for you. In the case of Epicurus, his theory is a little bit more sophisticated than that, but it still is a natural. It is a form of naturalism. And you can read a chapter in the later in the later part of the book, in which I explain Epicurus this theory of ethics in more detail. What about knowledge? How can a Bertrand Russell explain knowledge? How do you explain knowledge in a naturalistic universe? May I give you an example? It's going to be a combination of evolution, mechanism and materialism. Let me tell you how contemporary naturalists explain the laws of logic. The laws of logic resulted from Darwinian principles. The survival of the fittest. In the beginning, there were two primitive men. Did I tell you this last time? I guess not. One of them was Bubba. Bubba. Primitive man. Not too smart. Okay. And the other one was, um, Galois. Okay. Later appears in some of the Tarzan movies. They go out to hunt saber tooth tigers. But there's one difference between Baba and Oom Gawa.


    [00:41:03] Baba can't count, All right? He's inherited genes that mean that. So that when Bubba finds himself in a closed box canyon and he's surrounded by saber tooth tigers, he's a bears a saber tooth tiger. And he starts now numbering the money. And one plus one plus one plus one plus one equals one. And that's Bubbas arithmetic. And Bubba does not come out of that box canyon alive. See, those sabertooth tigers have him for lunch. Ogawa, on the other hand, he counts the same saber tooth Tigers One plus one plus one plus one plus one plus one. And he says six. And he screams. And he runs like the dickens and he gets home. So because Bob was Gene's. Die off with him. And on God was genes lead to the survival of his descendants. We all think like Owen Gawa and not like Bubba. That's the only reason why we have the table of mathematics that we have. That's the. I'm not kidding you. This is the way naturalists explain logic. It's a matter of evolution. And, of course, it's a chance evolution. If whom God was genes had died off with him, we'd all think like Bubba. And, you know, when you look at the colleges of America, there do seem to be some descendants of Bubba in our in our university systems these days, you know? No, I'm not kidding. They add one plus one plus one, and instead of getting one, they get seven or eight. But, you know, maybe that's just another. Human nature. Is there life after death? Not if you're a naturalist. Is there anything called human consciousness? Not if you're a naturalist. That's a brief introduction to the naturalistic worldview.