[quote=PLP]According to naturalism, anything we can sense is, by definition, natural. At best (worst?) we can call something that is sensed paranormal, that is contradicted by current scientific knowledge. Some paranormal ideas (X-rays spring immediately to mind) end up becoming good science.
i would say that naturalism is incoherent, then.
[quote=PLP]That’s one theory. It has at least the virtue of being internally consistent. But is it a better theory? Is it simpler? Does it provide more explanatory power? How does the full theistic theory compare to the full naturalistic theory? Basic theism treated as an ontological theory is extremely complicated, and all the complications seem to reduce the explanatory power of the theory. Christian theism is even more complicated and has even less explanatory power.
yes, it’s better. you have never once explained what you mean by “simpler”, why that simplicity is paramount, or why simplicity matters more than other theoretical virtues. so i don’t know if you would call it “simpler”. or why that matters so much.
(as an aside - you realize that your version of mereology according to which the universe is a separate entity from its constituent parts entails the existence of an infinite number of entities, right? if there is entity A, B, C, and D, then there are mereological wholes that are made up of ABCD, AB, AC, AD, BC, BD, BA, and so on…so you can’t be all that that averse to ontological extravagance.)
yes, it provides boatloads more explanatory power. the full naturalistic theory is the same as the full theistic theory, except that the theistic theory posits god.
basic theism ontologically uncomplicated - i am at a loss to understand how you could think otherwise.
and again - i think christian theism explains way, way more than naturalism. plus, it has the distinct advantage of being true.
[quote=PLP]Original sin is a classic case of weakening the explanatory power of the overall paradigm. Sure, Original Sin predicts there will be some bad things about life, but what kind bad things? How many? Why specifically the appendix, bad knees, the inability to synthesize vitamin C? Why not other things instead?
dude, if you are withholding belief based on questions like this, then i hope you don’t have any conviction in general relativity, quantum mechanics, set theory, or…
i can explain this, but i’m certainly not willing to spend all my time on this forum engaging in what would amount to a graduate course in philosophical theology. sorry.
and again - i’m not sure that “explanatory power” means what you think it means.
[quote=PLP]One thing that I’ve found in both my philosophical and scientific study is that thinking that something is “obvious” is a giant red flag that I have not thought through the problem carefully enough.
noted. in my (considerable) experience, i only come to that conclusion after having thought through the problem in painstaking detail. in the end, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that certain propositions are just irreducibly obvious, and that their obviousness is an important epistemic index.
[quote=PLP]In philosophy, whenever I read (even in the canon; especially in the canon) a sentence which begins, “It’s obvious that…” I’ve invariably found that this is the precise point where the author is trying to flim-flam me.
maybe. not sure what you’ve read. i will only note that the adoption of a defensive posture like this allows one to slip easily into a tacit and not-altogether-reasonable skepticism.
[quote=PLP]It’s equally “obvious” to me that there is no God. It’s obvious to me that a real world exists. It’s obvious to me that good and evil are real properties. It’s obvious to me that an object always has a well-defined position and momentum. So, obviously (), these are big red flags to apply more careful analysis to my own thinking.
i would say that we are using “obvious” in different sense. what i mean is that belief in god is properly basic, not (simply) that i have a clear and non-discursive familiarity with the concepts involved.
[quote=PLP]Of course, I’m not saying that the obvious is always wrong. But thinking that something is obvious, IM (not so) HO, is always evidence that careful critical analysis has not yet been applied.
always? always? odd, that. how do you know that there’s a real world? or that there are other minds? or that your senses are reliable? or that the principle of non-contradiction is true?