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Why is there a widespread belief in MATERIALISM?

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  • Why is there a widespread belief in MATERIALISM?

    Why is there a widespread belief in materialism when a vast majority of philosophers don't believe in it?

    Here is an answer from Oxford philosopher Keith Ward.



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  • #2
    Originally posted by mszlazak View Post
    Why is there a widespread belief in materialism when a vast majority of philosophers don't believe in it?

    Here is an answer from Oxford philosopher Keith Ward.



    ---------------
    Hi mszlazak, haven't watched the video yet but i would like to point out that Jerry Coyne is not impressed with Keith Ward: Guardian writer foolishly claims that religion answers factual questions Why Evolution Is True

    Saying that God created the universe is no more a “perfectly acceptable factual claim” than is “the universe was created by a giant turtle” or “invisible and undetectable fairies move the pistons of my car.” A factual claim is “acceptable” when it is both testable and doesn’t violently contradict what we know of the world. And if “no known scientific technique” can answer the question of whether some deistic act ultimately stated the universe, then, contra Ward, there is no “rational” way to answer such a question.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Sniffy the Atheist View Post
      Hi mszlazak, haven't watched the video yet but i would like to point out that Jerry Coyne is not impressed with Keith Ward:
      It's important to listen to what people are saying, rather than rely on members of our tribe to do the analysis for us. Before I was familiar with Rupert Sheldrake's research I recall him being used in an internet argument as an exemplar of bad science, worse, he was encouraging people to believe all kinds of terrible nonsense. The quote was "You'll be telling me Sheldrake's a scientist next!" IIRC.

      The chap subsequently turned out to be an atheist-materialist-humanist of a kind I've subsequently become familiar, but the argument did at least lead me to examine Sheldrake's findings and realise they were far from the dilettante rubbish internet materialists were pushing.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by gabriel View Post
        It's important to listen to what people are saying, rather than rely on members of our tribe to do the analysis for us. Before I was familiar with Rupert Sheldrake's research I recall him being used in an internet argument as an exemplar of bad science, worse, he was encouraging people to believe all kinds of terrible nonsense. The quote was "You'll be telling me Sheldrake's a scientist next!" IIRC.

        The chap subsequently turned out to be an atheist-materialist-humanist of a kind I've subsequently become familiar, but the argument did at least lead me to examine Sheldrake's findings and realise they were far from the dilettante rubbish internet materialists were pushing.
        Thanks Gabriel, sadly there isn't much evidence for Dr.Sheldrake's morphic field theory: Morphic field - RationalWiki

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        • #5
          RationalWiki is not a neutral diagnostic summary. Shall we promote Scientology, Wicca, Vatican conclusions on the board while we're at it? Cut and pasting articles in place of a response is anti-engagement and intellectually dishonest.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Sniffy the Atheist View Post
            Thanks Gabriel, sadly there isn't much evidence for Dr.Sheldrake's morphic field theory: Morphic field - RationalWiki
            I dont get the point of this link....it says nothing?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by mszlazak
              Why is there a widespread belief in materialism when a vast majority of philosophers don't believe in it?
              Are you sure there is a widespread belief in materialism? Does the average person even know what it is?

              What do you think the majority of philosophers do believe?

              Preliminary Survey results | PhilPapers Surveys

              ~~ Paul

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Iyace View Post
                I dont get the point of this link....it says nothing?
                It's saying Sheldrake has pluck something from his arse

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by eveshi
                  Do you really think it's that simple?

                  What would you say about the strides we've taken in our understanding of the physical universe? Does that account for nothing?

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                  • #10
                    In the link Keith Ward refutes Dawkins' claim that most scientists are materialists. Ward claims materialism is an unfounded position to hold intellectually, or at best a tortuously arrived at one.

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                    • #11
                      I don't have any data, of course, but I'm pretty skeptical that most scientists have researched the philosophy of materialism in any kind of depth to really be able to say if they are materialists or not! I'm sure some have, but it seems to me that people mean all sorts of different things when they drop the term.

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                      • #12
                        Let's face it: Besides us, a bunch of philosophers, and three more obsessive people in the world, who gives a damn what their metaphysic is? People form worldviews out of an arbitrary mish-mash of stuff that pleases them. No one sits down with pen, paper, and logic manual to try to work out something self-consistent, testable, and yet pleasing and hopeful.

                        ~~ Paul

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
                          Are you sure there is a widespread belief in materialism? Does the average person even know what it is?

                          What do you think the majority of philosophers do believe?

                          Preliminary Survey results | PhilPapers Surveys

                          ~~ Paul
                          Thanks Paul.

                          I always suspected it was more dominant than Ward said. He could be wrong but maybe he means there is some difference between materialism and physicalism since he brings up QT. Also his grouping of philosophers could be different.

                          I'll see if I can get a response since he keeps making that claim:

                          Materialism and its Discontents

                          God bless you
                          Last edited by mszlazak; November 24th, 2011, 01:02 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Arouet View Post
                            I don't have any data, of course, but I'm pretty skeptical that most scientists have researched the philosophy of materialism in any kind of depth to really be able to say if they are materialists or not! I'm sure some have, but it seems to me that people mean all sorts of different things when they drop the term.
                            I believe the majority subscribe to it, or metaphysical naturalism, naturally. Atheist and materialism arent mutually exclusive, but they do come hand in hand. It doesnt require someone to completely understand a philosophical stance, to follow its basic concepts , I.E most christians today.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Iyace View Post
                              I believe the majority subscribe to it, or metaphysical naturalism, naturally. Atheist and materialism arent mutually exclusive, but they do come hand in hand. It doesnt require someone to completely understand a philosophical stance, to follow its basic concepts , I.E most christians today.
                              What I mean, is that I doubt they have really studied it - maybe the few who came from an arts background before heading to the sciences. Some might have picked up some philosophy books on the side, but I would guess the majority just make assumptions about what materialism means, based solely on the root "matter" in the term.

                              They may casually sign onto it, but I doubt most understand what they're signing on to. I mean, there are people here who say that QM destroys materialism. Well, if that's true, then probably none of the scientists would call themselves materialists since they probably all accept QM.

                              Some people define materialism as simply mind =/brain. In that case you'd get far more signing on. But I'd be pretty surprised if an entire philosophy had just one tenet, so i suspect this isn't the common definition.

                              One thing is certain: people have different cnceptions of what it means to be a materialist and there is no guarantee that two people who call themselves that actually believe the same thing.

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