Naming the Lenses: Part 3

Posted by Administrator on 1/21/2014 to Critical Thinking

James Sire calls naturalism the second great continent in worldviews (theism being first), and presents naturalism’s core qualities in The Universe Next Door.

Lens #3—Naturalism

  • While matter exists eternally in this worldview, God does not exist in naturalism.
  • No transcendent being ordered the closed system of the cosmos, and it is unchanged by human beings today.
  • Evolution is the theory that explains the origin of the universe to a naturalist.
  • Humans are complex “machines” of chemical and physical properties who can fashion their own destiny until death occurs, at which point they simply cease to exist, the matter from which they are made becoming disorganized into some other form.
  • Human reason, particularly science, allows mankind to understand the cosmos in its normal state, and truth will always be the end result of that human reason.
  • Since ethics and values are constructed by human beings, those values can differ from culture to culture and era to era.
  • Any action that is group-approved, survival-promoting, and encouraging the continuation of human life is considered a good action by a naturalist.
  • History has no overarching purpose because history is whatever humans make it to be.
  • Humanism is a natural outgrowth of naturalism because it conveys the idea that human beings are of special value (having thoughts, desires, aspirations, and choices of significance).
  • Naturalism/humanism allows man to place himself at the center of the universe, making of himself and for himself something of value.

Movies with a Naturalist Lens

[Note: As with all film listings, please determine each movie’s suitability for your own family. Please do not interpret a film’s inclusion in a list of examples as Zeezok Publishing’s promotion of or agreement with that film.]

  •   Dolphin Tale
  • Fat Man and Little Boy
  • The Lorax
  • Inherit the Wind
  • The Grapes of Wrath

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