Philosophical Naturalism - How Do People Define Naturalism?
Philosophical Naturalism is another name for materialism, the philosophical paradigm whereby everything can be explained in terms of natural causes. Naturalists maintain that physical matter is the only reality—everything can be explained in terms of matter and physical phenomena. Naturalism, by definition, excludes any supernatural agent or activity. Thus, naturalism is an atheistic philosophy.
Philosophical Naturalism –The Hurdles
Like materialism, the naturalist philosophy faces some significant hurdles. Recent discoveries (including galactic motion in astronomy and proton decay in physics) have led scientists to accept this certainty: the universe began at some point in time. Without the possibility of an eternal cosmos, there are only two feasible alternatives for the origin of the universe: either Someone made it, or it made itself.
The observations of empirical science have put naturalists in an awkward position—they must identify a natural mechanism by which everything could have created itself without an Intelligent Director.