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James W. Sire's "The Universe Next Door" -A Commentary

Aug 17, 2007
In the Universe Next Door by James W. Sire, we see a natural transition from the Naturalist to Nihilist viewpoint, offered by Sire as a natural movement of one world view to another.

In the Naturalist world view, which came from Rene Descartes' belief that the universe is just a "mechanism of matter which people comprehended by mind."

The book talks about a decline in humanity because of Descartes' world view, because we found ourselves not able to think together and we lost the concept of unity.

Naturalists, as the book states: "See no God, no spirit, no life beyond the grave." What I discovered in my reading was the fact that Naturalists though they state this, actually end up having some values of their own. They make go by a set of morals. They may be good husbands, wives, or friends. They may even get mad at an evil movie.

However, Nihilists, as Sire states, are the people we often end tip seeing in mental institutions or as my mom calls them-funny farms. What is the difference between a Naturalist and Nihilist? Not a whole lot, but yet something quite big!

Naturalists have no faith, no god, really believe that all matter just came about and we are a part of it. (Nihilists end up losing all hope often because they take it a bit deeper.

Not only is there no God, no spirit, but also there are no moral values. Anything is possible. It is very easy to see how one could lead to the other, yet very hard when you look at it another way.

It's easy to see how a Naturalist could become evil, because with no God, there is no Bible, or book to live our lives after. There is no faith. It really could become sad and lonely to say the least.

Nihilists, though, as Sire states: "The first reason naturalism turns into nihilism is that naturalism does not supply a basis on which a person can act ~ are not self conscious, we are machines."

Nihilists see themselves as machines capable of any act, any choice, because not only is there no God, no faith, but there are unlimited choices, all of them good, because after all I'm a machine, and machines can turn off and on and do anything they want at any given time.

I wonder what an example of a modern day Nihilist would be? According to Sire, we'll find a lot of them in mental wards. I wonder if some of them may be lurking about in the Church of Satan as well. There is a Satanic Church and bible you know. They believe it is good to sacrifice young babies to Satan as long as it promotes his agenda.

Sire talks about comparing Naturalists to Carl Marx, one of the founders of Communism It was eye opening to see how the naturalists, including Russia, became one society. Naturalism had the good qualities of everyone being equal, working to eliminate poverty, and working for the good of another.

Isn't it crazy though, how Russia came to be an enormous power and Sire also talks about Lenin, one of Russia's leaders, who pushed communism as an acceptable form of living and working?

People believed in Communism and Marxism. Sire states that Naturalism is still alive and growing everywhere in the world. That really saddens my spirit. Of course, Naturalists would say I had no spirit, and Nihilists would say I have no real reason for being.

I am happy to say that my faith in God is the most important thing in my life. Why? I have a reason for living and being. My reason is to "Love the Lord my God, and my neighbors, with all my heart, soul, and mind--and strength." I much prefer it to naturalism or nihilism!
About the Author
Don Alexander, Published Writer & Online Business Mentor
"Helping ALL to Succeed"
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