Update: 16th October 2018 – this Atheism UK (Mingle) forum will close on some Wednesdays between 9am-11.30am for tests to introduce a bbPress forum. Chris Street, President, Atheism UK.

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Author Topic: Naturalism - not Naturism!

Posts: 76
Naturalism - not Naturism!
on: December 4, 2014, 10:04

I'm a Naturalist - not a naturist!

I have two main philosophical worldviews: Naturalism & Humanism. I think of atheism as a conviction rather than a worldview. World view is "a particular philosophy of life or conception of the world*"

Naturalism: "the philosophical belief that everything arises from natural properties and causes, and supernatural or spiritual explanations are excluded or discounted*"

*Oxford Dictionary (3rd Edition)

I'm interested in creating a Venn diagram of Humanism, Atheism and Naturalism.

Chris Street
President, AtheismUK

Posts: 917
Re: Naturalism - not Naturism!
on: December 6, 2014, 10:39

Totally agree. Mind you, naturism sounds more fun! 🙂

Posts: 206
Re: Naturalism - not Naturism!
on: December 15, 2014, 10:50

I object to this use of the term 'naturalism'. One of the greatest naturalists in history was Gilbert White, who was a country curate when he wrote 'The Natural History of Selborne'. I expect he believed in Jesus. In fact, there has been a rather long association between naturalists and Christianity - the glories of nature can easily be ascribed to divine creation - until you look a little deeper, that is. Anyway, naturalists have no particular religious affiliation as far as I know, and although there may be a trend amongst the scientific community to be sceptical about divine claims (at least I hope there is), the study of nature itself cannot be used as a synonym for a form of atheism. As someone on the internet says (so it must be true - although in this case it was Stanford Education something) "‘naturalism’ is not a particularly informative term as applied to contemporary philosophers" - just because some johnny-come-latelys started using the term - and in the US of all places - there's no need for everyone to join in.

Basically, bog off and get your own term. I suggest 'naturism' - then you won't get confused with proper naturalists and all will be well.

Posts: 206
Re: Naturalism - not Naturism!
on: December 15, 2014, 11:12

I was being a bit facetious, obviously, but I'm not sure how useful it is to adopt a word that is in more general currency and means something totally different, but also has a degree of overlap with the alternative use. I'm not sure what's better -I generally go for 'rational person' - which is not a claim of perfect rational thinking, but a commitment to try to use the tools of rationality when looking at the world, and a commitment to try to control one's own human tendencies towards faulty logic.

Posts: 64
Re: Naturalism - not Naturism!
on: February 13, 2015, 00:34

It's hard to think of another term for someone with a naturalist outlook on life Adam. Although I understand where your coming from. Too general. Maybe existentialist or mortalist.

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