Can Naturalists Know Anything?

Scott Smith, from Biola, has written an important book you may never read, but the ideas are very important in understanding the debate over reason between atheists and theists.  There's a fatal flaw in atheism's worldview that undercuts their claim to know reality.

In recent years, atheists constantly claim that theism by nature is unreasonable and irrational.  Atheism, with its commitment to naturalism and science, holds the rational high ground.  Atheists who argue this way often dismiss and don't engage arguments for theism and Christianity because they think there's nothing to argue about.

But worldviews have commitments ingrained in them, and naturalism does not provide a home for knowledge and reason.  Theism does.

The irony that Scott Smith points out is that it is the worldview of atheism, naturalism, that is incompatible with reason and knowledge.  He explains it here.  He argues that features of beliefs and knowledge are intrinsically non-physical, and naturalism cannot account for these.  Knowledge requires mental states, but naturalism denies the existence of mental states and minds.  Naturalism leaves us without knowledge, only interpretations.  This is a fatal flaw for a worldview that claims to explain the world in purely physical terms and claim to be true and knowable.

Scott discussed his book with Brian Auten.

blog post |
Melinda Penner

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