What I'm asking is whether naturalism is the notion that everything has a natural cause, or whether it is the notion that only everything that begins has a natural cause, whereas everything that did not begin is necessarily eternal but still accounted for and considered natural as well?

In other words, can the existence of an eternal, uncaused object be accepted as a natural thing, or must its existence be rejected as being contrary to natural philosophy?

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    See Naturalism (philosophy) : "the idea or belief that only natural (as opposed to supernatural or spiritual) laws and forces operate in the world." Apr 21 '18 at 8:49
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    So, per se, the idea of a natural entity being eternal is not in contradiction. The issue is that"the existence of an eternal, uncaused object " is not supported by our current scientific theories. Apr 21 '18 at 8:50
  • According to modern physics not everything has a cause.
    – Wilhelm
    Apr 21 '18 at 11:42
  • Natural philosophy and naturalism are two different things, most scientists are naturalists philosophically, but one can have natural philosophy that is non-naturalist. In 19th century naturalism the universe was an eternal uncaused object, and naturalism does not require even everything that begins to have a cause. For instance, under the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics the electron's passing through a particular slit in a double slit experiment has no cause, natural or otherwise, it is random.
    – Conifold
    Apr 21 '18 at 22:49
  • I take the view that everything that is real or exists is natural. It seems inevitable that there is an eternal or timeless uncaused phenomenon and it would make no sense if it were not natural. Naturalism claims that everything is natural - it does not specify what is and is not natural or what it and is not real. Only those with anti-spiritual agendas to follow need to specify this. .
    – user20253
    Apr 22 '18 at 11:58

As Mauro quotes, naturalism is the heuristics that everything in this world is the result of natural "causes" - of course, naturalism accepts that events on the quantum level may have no cause at all. Therefore, naturalism does not make any a priori specifications concerning content.

Similarly to Mauro's statement, IMO a decision

  • whether eternal physical objects exist or
  • whether all physical objects have a finite lifecycle

is beyond the scope of current science.

Note: Big Bang is not part of the cosmological standard model, it is the limit point of the standard model.

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