…the optimism of idealism (in particular the optimism of the naturalists) is demonstrably unwarranted.
Anyone still reading?
Locke and Hume were more up on the perils of self-love for the social order. The Modern Naturalist misses the point of Total Depravity (whatever evil man can imagine, he can accomplish and is willing to accomplish) in the inner lining of the human heart. Modern Natural Idealists, like Dewey, for instance, sensed a goodness in man they would not explain theologically. So, they identifed Inner Good as potential, religion as malformed and education as the only hope of progress.
They might have been right if Man never had to live with men.
Or, imagine a world in which Calvin dies the year Galileo is born. The Church put Calvin in his grave and the Church put Galileo under house arrest. By the time Galileo was dead, Calvin was moldy in his dark hole.
It may ever be so. Galileo struggled mightly to find emprical evidence the planets orbit the sun. Calvin produced pratical thought on the subject of revolutions around a more attractive body as well. Calvin decided Man felt strange (even if predictable) attractions. I want for my naturally optimistic Theological Naturalist bretheren to cite chapter and verse on man's imago dei creation but I have more proof that man is a sinner than that man is capable of sainthood.
Alright, yes, I know, how can Man be capsuled as sinner, if there is no God against whom to rebel. Sin, theologically is rebellion against God. If Man does not have God, how can Man have Sin?
Alright, yes, Man can cure his own sin problem by the simple means of eradicating God and educating himself.
Or, can he? Find me the man among Men who has his own standards, lofty standards, meaningful goals. Do his standards agree with his goals, or is he lop-sided? Does he keep his own standards? Does he move toward his own announced goals?
I say, nay-nay.
There is something in us requring regeneration rather than simple reeducation.