We chat with Matthew Ferguson about metaphysical naturalism and secular humanism. It was a lot of fun and maddeningly interesting. This is part 1 of 2 of our discussion.
Matthew is currently a PhD student in Classics at the University of California, Irvine. He has written several scholarly papers about ancient history, and blogs about naturalism, secular humanism, and counter apologetics at his blogs Κέλσος and Civitas Humana.
- Matthew’s blog, interacting with apologists, and his response to the 10-42 apologetic
What is a worldview?
- Comparing worldviews
- Explanatory scope and explanatory power
- Worldviews used as a rhetorical tool by presuppositional apologists
What are metaphysical naturalism and secular humanism?
- What questions do each of these answer?
- How do they fit together and compliment each other?
- The relationship with methodological naturalism, physicalism, materialism, and atheism.
- The role of science in our knowledge
- Getting knowledge from science and history
- Can a metaphysical naturalist or secular humanist be religious?
- Making sense of minds, consciousness, shapes, numbers, propositions, and other abstract object on metaphysical naturalism
How does metaphysical naturalism compare to christian theism?
- Rules to live by
- Agreeing about reality
- Religion, religious experience, and the evolution of agent over-detection
Books we referenced:
Matthew was kind enough to provide a metric ton of really great resources for anyone interested in learning more about what we were talking about. Check them out below:
Resources for Naturalism:
Defining Theism, Atheism, Supernaturalism, and Naturalism (by Matthew Ferguson)
The Secular Outpost: Arguments for Naturalism (by Jeff Lowder)
The Best Argument Against God (by Graham Oppy)
Sense and Goodness without God (by Richard Carrier)
Naturalism’s Support among Professional Philosophers:
The Teleological Argument for Naturalism:
Finely Tuning a Killer Cosmos (by Richard Carrier)
The Fallacy of Fine Tuning: Why the Universe Is Not Designed for Us (by Victor Stenger)
Naturalism as the Best Explanation for Irrational Suffering:
The Evil-God Challenge (by Stephen Law)
Naturalism and Mind-Body Physicalism:
Naturalism, Secular Humanism, and Ethics:
Confused Metaphysics: Apologetic Efforts to Corner the Market on Ethics (by Matthew Ferguson)
Naturalism and Epistemology:
C.S. Lewis’ Milk Jug: Apologetics and the Retreat into Epistemology (by Matthew Ferguson)
Evolutionary Naturalism, Theism, and Skepticism about the External World (by J. Wesley Robbins)
Plantinga’s Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism Refuted (by Stephen Law)
Critical Review of Victor Reppert’s Defense of the Argument from Reason (by Richard Carrier)
Dishonest Apologetic Debate Tactics:
Counter-Apologetics FAQ (by Matthew Ferguson)