Monday, July 24, 2017

Stupid Materialist Tricks and The Far Greater Plausibility of Pluralism

"Which leads me to ask - do you own anything that could be considered materialistic? I'm guessing YES."
"General Zod"

This is a variation on one of the questions that atheists believe can clinch their argument for their supporting argument of materialism, surely they can force a religious believer into admitting that they use and rely on material objects in their daily life here on Earth, in this universe, which is, by the way, the only universe the existence of which we have any verification.  One I always get asserts the unstated assumption that computers wouldn't be here if atheism wasn't true.  I have pointed out that in the past two decades of reading more atheists on atheism than in my previous fifty years, combined, that one thing I've learned is that most atheists aren't nearly as bright as they love to believe they are.

But as atheists, especially those of the modern, scientistic variety, are wont to be, they are generally entirely ignorant of philosophical definitions and even the definition of the materialism they cling to as their ultimate weapon and shield against God.  Materialism, unlike virtually all religion is a monistic faith that will only admit of one ultimate real thing, the material universe, matter and energy, and that, as one of the more superficial but pretentious of their celebrities propagandized, "The Cosmos is all that is or was or ever will be."  Being a materialistic atheist, Carl Sagan didn't understand that even the word "cosmos" had a more extensive meaning than he could conceive of.   Being rather silly whenever he got far outside of his area of professional expertise, Sagan didn't even seem to understand that in his conception of it, reality was only what could be contained within his rigid scientistic faith.  Just as evolution and even modern cosmology can't be seen through the blinders of the original Biblical Fundamentalism, much is left out of the narrow scientific view of the universe when that is treated as an ideological truth.

Religions,  not being monisms,  have no problem with containing both the material universe AND MORE, WHICH MATERIALISM CAN'T CONTAIN.  Considering the mutual obsession that atheists have with fundamentalists, the opening chapters of Genesis, in which God creates the universe*, any atheist who had any wit at all would understand that no Jew or Christian or Muslim who took that declaration in scripture seriously would deny the existence of the physical universe.  

I think even an extreme Christian idealist such as George Berkeley didn't really act as if he believed that the material universe didn't really exist.  I think his philosophical position really comes down to the fact that everything we can experience, or comprehend or know or discuss about the material universe is entirely dependent on the mind which cannot be accounted for by the properties of the matter which human minds perceive and make understandable to themselves.  As high a figure in the philosophy of physical science as Karl Popper wrote a paper** in which he called Berkeley a predecessor to Mach and Einstein in his insight into the fact that any, even the most high scientific investigation into matter was entirely dependent on the minds that were doing it, and that whatever science can know of the material universe is inseparable from the nature of the minds that are dong the looking, the measuring and the understanding and knowing.  Even the atheist-materialist does that in his naive declarations that the material universe is in charge of minds, they do it even as they try to demote the mind to nothing because they can't make it fit into their rigid, monistic ideology which they both want to and must make an exception of for in their rigid ideology, making it self-inconsistent.

Like it or not, the material universe, in so far as human beings can even perceive its existence, is utterly dependent on human minds and whatever we can know about it and the things it contains is only knowable in so far as our minds permit us to know those things and the knowledge of them is inevitably shaped and colored by the mind, right up to and including the measurement of it and the logical arguments developed about it and even the causal chains that we splice together as science.  I'd go into the nature of causality and its unknowable nature and status (the traditional conception of causality dealt a severe blow by modern physics) but I think those trolling this blog are probably having a fit over what I've already said.

I am not an idealist or a materialist, it might come as a shock for the either-or, black-white, thinking of the materialists, but no one is bound to be either of those.  Pluralism is a possibility that monists never seem to take into account.  The desire to have everything reducible to one thing is an emotional and aesthetic inclination, not a law of anything.  Neither is that great desideratum of late 20th century scientism, "elegance".   I think that kind of stuff is probably a sign of weak thinking.

* God creates the material universe in Genesis, the sun and moon, the stars, the earth, the waters, and in the opening act of creation, that central aspect so important as a measuring instrument in modern physics, light, and, in the opening words,  "In the beginning God created..." that God is responsible for beginning time itself which later in the collection it says in the collection will end, itself.   No or very, very few Jews, Christians or Muslims would deny the existence of the physical universe, they just don't limit themselves to believing that is all there is.  In Genesis, God several times is said to have seen that what he created was good.

**  I've only seen it once, you can read the first page as printed in The British Journal For The Philosophy of Science, here.   I have to say that I find Karl Popper to always be hedging what he says with an eye to the criticism his conclusions were bound to get by the bully boys of materialist-atheist-scientism.   Like in his accurate criticism of natural selection as being, in essence, a seriously flawed tautology, only to dial that back when the outrage of the Darwinists started, here he knows that any positive attributions to the usually grossly distorted, often mocked George Berkeley would risk similar treatment of what he said.  Probably the stupidest reaction to Berkeley was Samuel Johnson's, but he was generally an ass, anyway.

Note:  In the earlier posted version of this, I mistakenly mixed up the name of George Berkeley with the colonial governor,  William Berkeley, who was not much of a philosopher.  I shouldn't write so early in the morning.

Update:  There is no such thing as an objective view of nature, that idea is a myth that pretends we can see things as they really are when we have to see them only as our minds can see them.  You can try to remove personal bias in your understanding of things and in may areas should make that effort but, as Werner Heisenberg said, "What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning."  The natural world we see, even that which science sees, is not the actual natural world but what we can comprehend of that world, limited by our minds.  Materialists might just hate that fact, but their view of the universe is not the universe.  They have the choice to consider that if they want to demote the minds view of itself as an illusion, that blanket demotion of the reality they attribute to the mind and consciousness has to extend to the human view of the material universe which is an even more remote inference of the minds that are viewing it.  That is they have no choice when their belief is pushed past where they want to consider it, and I'm pushing it there, kid.

1 comment:

  1. First:things are not "materialistic." They are "material." That really should be obvious.

    I thought of Johnson's "refutation," too. If Zod knew the story it would probably seem clever, not a fundamental category error.

    These things that pass for knowledge I really don't understand.