Friday, January 10, 2014

Evidence and Arguments Against Materialism and Naturalism

The following links are to resources that call into question the truth of materialism and naturalism (and therefore of atheism as well). They don't necessarily attempt to prove the existence of God, or even the Christian God. Some of the resources imply that standard versions of materialism and naturalism are false by providing evidence that paranormal and/or supernatural events actually occur. Some of the resources would suggest that Christian supernaturalism in particular is true (or more likely true) even if they don't "prove" it. Admittedly there are versions of materialism and naturalism that could allow for the paranormal while at the same time denying the supernatural. Just as there are versions of supernatural worldviews which allow for both paranormal and supernatural events even though they don't affirm a transcendent monotheistic God (as in Christianity, Judaism, Islam etc.). Such non-Christian worldviews can often account for the supernatural and paranormal occurring among Christians. But it is also true that Christianity allows for supernatural (maybe even paranormal) events to occur among non-Christians either by demonic activity or God's gracious activity among non-Christians. Either directly, or indirectly through the agency of His angels. Since there's nothing in Christianity that denies the possibility that God answers the prayers or helps non-Christians.

For example John Calvin wrote:

There is one psalm which clearly teaches that prayers are not without effect, though they do not penetrate to heaven by faith (Ps. 107:6, 13, 19). For it enumerates the prayers which, by natural instinct, necessity extorts from unbelievers not less than from believers, and to which it shows by the event, that God is, notwithstanding, propitious. Is it to testify by such readiness to hear that their prayers [i.e. non-Christians'] are agreeable to him? Nay; it is, first, to magnify or display his mercy by the circumstance, that even the wishes of unbelievers are not denied; and, secondly, to stimulate his true worshippers to more urgent prayer, when they see that sometimes even the wailings of the ungodly are not without avail. [Calvin's Institutes third book, chapter 20 section 15]
Finally, Christians are divided on the issue of whether all apparently supernatural or paranormal occurrences are always either from God's side or the side of demons. Some Christians allow for the bare possibility of neutral paranormal activity that's neither from God's or demons. For example, some Christians are open to the possibility that some psychic abilities may be naturally possessed by some individuals apart from added demonic or divine enablement.

Non-Christian Resources

Skeptiko podcasts explore controversial science with leading researchers, thinkers and their critics. Calling into question standard versions of materialism and naturalism, Skeptiko discusses the scientific evidence for the paranormal and/or the supernatural from a Non-Christian perspective.  I include the Skeptiko link because it attempts to give some scientific rigor to many  paranormal and/or supernatural claims. As a Christian, I would obviously disagree with some of their non-Christian conclusions and practices discussed in Skeptiko podcast and the other Non-Christian books I recommend below.
[Peeranormal podcast is a Christian podcast similar to Skeptiko. See the link below in the Christian resources section]

Recommended Non-Christian books:

The Night Side of Nature by Catherine Crowe [a forgotten classic book of paranormal stories. Available here, or here, here, here, here, here, here] The author is "spiritual" and even quotes the Bible but is nevertheless NOT a Christian. Also, being written in the 19th century, the author mentions antiquated scientific theories of the day.

Entangled Minds by Dean Radin
The Conscious Universe by Dean Radin
Supernormal by Dean Radin
Science and Psychic Phenomena by Chris Carter and Rupert Sheldrake
Parapsychology and the Skeptics by Chris Carter
Extraordinary Knowing by Elizabeth Lloyd Mayer
Irreducible Mind by Edward Kelly and Emily Williams Kelly
Psi Wars by James Alcock, Jean Burns and Anthony Freeman
Outside the Gates of Science by Damien Broderick
Varieties of Anomalous Experience edited by Etzel Cardena, Steven Jay Lynn and and Stanley Krippner

I recommend doing a search for Dean Radin's videos on YouTube. For example:

"Science and the taboo of psi" with Dean Radin

Men Who Stare at Photons, Part 1

Men Who Stare at Photons, Part 2

Dean Radin

Often skeptics of the supernatural and paranormal argue that such things don't happen because if they did then they would pass James Randi's challenge and win the million dollars. But but both Christian and non-Christians have argued that Randi's challenge is bogus. Here's a non-Christian link that provides evidence that Randi's challenge isn't real.

Apparently, "The Amazing Randi" Is NOT So Amazing :

The Myth of James Randi’s Million Dollar Challenge

Christian Resources

Peeranormal is a Christian podcast that discusses the peer reviewed cases of apparently paranormal activity. Here's Peeranormal's podcast link:
[Skeptiko is a NON-Christian podcast that deals with controversial science and the paranormal. See the link above in the NON-Christian resources section]

Scientific Evidence Against Materialism

36 Essays Arguing Against Naturalism

Apologetics 315 posts with the label "Naturalism" and "Materialism"

Links on the Subject of Miracles in the Context of Craig Keener's Recent Book

Testimonies of the Supernatural Among Respected Christian Leaders (some of whom are cessationists)

Near Death Experiences and Christianity

(see also  Apparitions and deadbed visions by Steve Hays where he links to non-Christian links that provide some evidence for apparent apparitions and deathbed visions)

Book Reviews of Recent Atheist Authors by Christian Apologists

Evidence and Testimonies of Demonic and Angelic Encounters

Alleged Visions, Dreams and Visitations of Jesus to Muslims

UFOs and Christianity

Sleep Paralysis, Old Hag Syndrome and Alien Abductions

Scientific Evidence for Supernatural Events (audio lecture) by Gary Habermas

Quantum Physics Debunks Materialism (speculative thought provoking video)

Intelligent Design would also suggest that standard versions of materialism and naturalism are false. Intelligent Design arguments have been made from both the biological and cosmological evidence. If intelligent design is true, then that would mean that a personal agent or agents (or maybe Agent, i.e. God) had a hand in the existence of life in the universe. Even if intelligent design is true, that does not automatically disprove all forms of materialism, naturalism and atheism.
[links soon to be added]

Related links:

Ten Presuppositions of Science

Scientists Discover that Atheists Might Not Exist

Book Reviews of Recent Atheist Authors by Christian Apologists

Detecting and Finding God

"Unveiling" The Hiddenness of God

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