Principles of Naturalism

Principles of Naturalism:

(1) Universe- The universe is a huge machine. Man is also a part of this machine and a complete machine in himself also. The whole universe is governed by scientific laws.

(2) Reality- Naturalists believe that ultimate ‘Reality’ is a matter which manifests itself in the form of ‘Nature’. Everything that can be seen, touched, felt etc. is ‘matter’ and the material world is the real world. For them, reality and nature are identical. They have no belief in a supernatural reality. Life comes out of dead matter and is a sum total of physical and chemical reactions. The present life is real life. Except for this world, there is no other world beyond it, neither any other life beyond this. Mind is subordinate to matter. Hence man should try to make this life happy and comfortable. The true explanation of reality can only be done in terms of physical sciences.

(3) Nature- Nature alone is the source of all knowledge. All objects are born or made out by this Nature and ultimately disappear in Nature. Unchanging laws of Nature explain all the events and occurrences of the world. All the capacities of an individual human being are delimited by this nature. Those are his innate and inherent tendencies and basic instincts.

(4) Man- Man is also a matter and there is no soul or spirit. Man is a part of Nature and because of his own nature, he is the supreme creation of Nature. He may be termed as the supreme and superior most animal. He has no spiritual content. He has to adapt himself to the physical environment.

(5) Values- Naturalists have no belief in supernatural values. They believe that all real values exist in nature. Man creates values of life according to his needs and conditions of life by interacting with the environment. In order to realize the values of nature, one has to live in harmony with nature.

(6) Knowledge- Naturalists believe that all knowledge is comprehensible through senses as “Senses are the gateways of knowledge”. Anything which cannot be comprehended through senses does not exist. They have advocated the inductive method for acquiring knowledge. For them, nature alone is the source of all knowledge. So they would like to see nature as it is, make specific observations, accumulate and then generalize about the world inductively. Knowledge of physical inventions and discoveries is very essential.

(7) Society- Naturalists believe that man is basically an off-spring of nature and not a segment of society. He creates societies only to meet some of his needs. Individualism is elevated and society is subordinated by this philosophy.

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