Discussion Assignment: Naturalism

Discussion Assignment: Naturalism

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Discussion Assignment: Naturalism

Book required:


Lewis, C. S. The complete C.S. Lewis signature classics (paperback ed.). (2007). New York, NY: HarperCollins. ISBN: 9780061208492.


Topic: Naturalism

Prompt: Naturalism, a metaphysical theory held by many secular philosophers, is confronted and critiqued in Lewis, pages 303–334.

In your thread, first summarize Lewis’ main objection to naturalism. Be sure to explain what naturalism would do to “reasoning” according to Lewis. This will take the majority of your 350 words (minimum, not counting lengthy quotes). In your remaining words, state your own position on naturalism vs. supernaturalism (in metaphysical terms), including whether or not it makes any practical difference of if reasoning is just random.




In addition to the general advice that I’ve provided in past directions for DBs, here are some points to help you succeed with DB Forum 3 (“Naturalism”), specifically….


•         Give yourself adequate time to read Lewis pages 303-334 carefully. Try to capture the logic of his argumentation as you make notes. As I’ve said before, you can’t very well begin to write a DB Thread until you have things clear in your mind.


•         Keep the overall goal in mind. The purpose of this assignment is for you to demonstrate that you understand C. S. Lewis’ view of naturalism and its “cardinal difficulty” (its most fundamental, underlying weakness/problem logically) according to him.  I should be able to tell clearly if you’ve met the goal.


•         Try dividing your Thread into two portions. The first and longest part of what you’ll write will be asummary of Lewis’ main objection to naturalism. (You should use that bold heading for this first part.) This is where you explain what he calls the “cardinal difficulty” with naturalism. During this stage you are not critiquing or defending him, just showing that you accurately understand his positions. Be sure to explain what naturalism, if true, would do to “reasoning,” according to Lewis. I want to see about 200-250 words, minimum, just in this first part of your Thread.


•         Next, state your own position on naturalism vs. supernaturalism. (You should use that bold heading for this second part.)  Important: Understand, up front, that in this context we are not using the term “supernatural” in the way that you may be used to. We are talking about philosophical metaphysics: what “reality” ultimately is. (Is there only material-nature, or is there something beyond-nature such as “mind” which is also real?) That means talking in terms of Worldview, not debating how you think miracles, signs and wonders operate. I am not counting your personal experiences or your mastery of biblical theology here. It is essential that you state a logical case for whether or not it makes any practical difference if reasoning is a random process. Spend 100 words minimum to articulate this clearly and with precision.


•         When you make claims be sure to give your reasons for your conclusions. By reasons I mean evidence presented logically. Present the strongest and tightest argument you can for your conclusions; make sure we know why you think that way. This is a philosophical exercise.


•         In total, you will write at least 350 words for your Thread. But that’s the bare minimum.  There is no maximum.


•         When you are done writing and ready to post inside Forum 3, click “Create Thread.”  Just copy-paste into the text field of your Thread.  DO NOT try to “attach” the file: I will not give credit for attached files. (don’t worr about this)


Let me know if you need any further information, but I think I have been provided more than enough to know what to post.  All I need is a little more help.  Thanks!