DISCUSSION: On Close and Open-Mindedness

Friend: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T69TOuqaqXI&feature=related i had to post this when i saw it.. LOL THIS is excellent

Leonard Goenaga

The video and individual make a fundamental flaw:

He concludes, as shown in his graph:

“Supernatural Explanation for Unexplained Event X means — You will: Misinterpret evidence, make invalid connections, eliminate alternative explanations prematurely.”

Thus, he claims it is close mindedness.

This is incredibly flawed. How? It rules out the possibility of a supernatural explanation. Surely you’re not to jump to supernatural conclusions with everything. There may in fact be a ‘heater’ moving the ‘lamp’. Anyone can observe such a thing, and there is no need to posit a supernatural when it is best explained otherwise.

However, what happens when a supernatural explanation best answers an event?

The individual in the video makes this absolute claim: A supernatural explanation doesn’t explain an event. They render supernatural explanation and unexplained event as these separate categories. However if supernatural best explains an event, better then a naturalist explanation, ‘unexplained’ seems like a poor category. It would in fact be ‘explained’, just not to the satisfaction of the person.

The person makes the many mistakes of arguing a point based on false presumptions. They assume supernatural is not a valid form of explanation. The argument quoted above is rooted in the presupposition that it is not a real explanation. They are begging the question. You could not discuss with this person whether the supernatural is the BEST explanation, based off of EVIDENCE, simply because they CLOSED out supernatural as a possibility. Rather, supernatural is something that leads to those negative things.

However this is terribly inaccurate and intellectual dishonest. How?

They are asserting only NATURALIST explanations have explaining power. By this, they mean things they can empirically and scientifically test.

In other words, he is stating that truth (explaining power) can only be known through science and a naturalist explanation.

However this is a fallacy. Prove, with science, that the above statement is true. You cannot. Why? The above statement is philosophical. You are making a philosophical truth statement to argue that science/naturalism is the only way to explain something. That’s self-refuting to say the least!

Since philosophy is not naturalist or empirical, you then see why this is the Naturalist Fallacy.

The person enters observing Supernatural as containing explanatory power as false. They then restrict themselves only to Naturalist explanations, as shown in the above quote from his video.

This in fact IS close-mindedness. It restrains one’s ability to explain events ONLY to natural explanations, where someone who is open to the Supernatural can just as well explain an event (the lamp-shade) with a scientific explanation, as well as other events (miracles, healings, etc), as supernatural.

The person who only explains everything in the world as having a supernatural explanation, is of course CLOSE-MINDED. However, by this admission, a person who explains everything in the world as having a natural explanation, is guilty of the same! Both close off explanations according to their convictions.

There is in fact one empirical claim that is the center of Christianity (1 Cor 15). Paul says without the resurrection, Christianity is baseless.

There are certain historical facts (Jesus’ death, empty tomb, changed disciples, etc). We can then observe well accepted evidence, and make the following conclusion: Which answers the various criteria of evidence best: the supernatural or the natural?

If the supernatural is in fact the best explanation, after natural ones are shown false, then you can see the impact of such a conclusion. If one closes the supernatural as an explanation, and only seeks the natural, they are in fact closing their availability of the best explanation, and grasping only to conclusions that they have already rendered in their heart.

Perhaps one day we will talk about the empty tomb, and why the supernatural resurrection is the only intellectually acceptable explanation.


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