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Old 10-06-2011, 11:22 PM
 
Location: Metromess
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Yes, to put a fine point on it, I suppose it is preferable to use 'physicalism' rather than 'materialism'. It doesn't have the negative connotation to some that 'materialism' has. At least not yet!

Boxcar Overkill: IMO, there neither MUST nor MUST NOT be a deity. Who can say? I realize that many think there must be, but I don't agree.
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Old 10-07-2011, 06:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
No more than the atheists would have to prove that god didn't exist, I'd say. If they assumed something like 'God is unknowable' then one might reasonably ask how they know that . But, if they simply say that they they don't know whether there is a god or not, they are essentially saying that the evidence for is not persuasive. Which is all atheists say.
Sure, I agree. I'm just pointing out that agnostics are making tentative conclusions and acting on them, just like everyone else. It's not some special privileged position which is immune from the problems everyone else faces trying to figure what to believe with imperfect knowledge we're limited by.
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Old 10-07-2011, 06:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
In your mind, must dark matter be considered a manifestation of the material world or could it legitimately be pointed to as evidence of an immaterial world?

If the former, why is the concept of materialism even important? It seems to me "material" might then just become synonymous with the word "everything", regardless of it's properties.
Considering there's lots of evidence for it, both direct and indirect (e.g. APOD: 2006 August 24 - The Matter of the Bullet Cluster), I'd say it falls pretty squarely into the evidence-based side of materialist naturalist nature.
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Old 10-07-2011, 12:55 PM
 
Location: OKC
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Originally Posted by KCfromNC View Post
Considering there's lots of evidence for it, both direct and indirect (e.g. APOD: 2006 August 24 - The Matter of the Bullet Cluster), I'd say it falls pretty squarely into the evidence-based side of materialist naturalist nature.
The theory of materialism holds that the only thing that exists is matter; that all things are composed of material and all phenomena are the result of material interactions.

For that theory to make any sense we have to have a fixed definition of what "matter" is.

Traditionally, "matter" was an object made of atoms and had only four states; solid, liquid, gas, and plasma.

Thus traditionally a materialist was making the claim that the only things that exist are things that are made of atoms and come in one of those four states.

The materialist were wrong.

We now believe most things in the universe are not made of atoms.

Of course we could simply change the definition of matter to include any new thing we find....but then what good is the term "materialism?"

If materialism simply means "the only things that exist are the things that exist" it's a pretty circular and useless term.

If materialism means "the only things that exists are the things that we know exists plus all the other stuff that we don't yet know about," - it is an equally useless term.

I don't think materialism can be a rational or useful philosophy in a world where we know most of the universe is made out of objects that we have no idea what it's properties are. Materialism is a bankrupt idea it seems to me.

Of course, that says nothing of it's alternatives.
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Old 10-07-2011, 02:18 PM
 
Location: City-Data Forum
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Originally Posted by Mercury Cougar View Post
So are you an agnostic atheist or an agnostic theist or an agnostic deist?
I'm an agnostic agnostic at the moment.
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Old 10-08-2011, 05:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
In your mind, must dark matter be considered a manifestation of the material world or could it legitimately be pointed to as evidence of an immaterial world?
Aside dark matter is still theoretical, but indirect evidence suggest it must be there, what it is, remains to be seen. If it helps, the lines between material and immaterial have been blurred over the last few decades.

In my view the question of 'matter' isn't the important one but natural processes going on without evidence of a controlling and forward -planning mind.

Quote:
If the former, why is the concept of materialism even important? It seems to me "material" might then just become synonymous with the word "everything", regardless of it's properties.
The way I see it, materialism or not can become a rhetorical trick and very tenuous matter can be presented as virtually incorporeal. That opens the door for 'spirit'.

That is just bringing us back to the 'nature or god' idea. The reason I don't buy the 'god' label is because I am not persuaded that the universe or multiverse or nature shows and need for a forward - planning mind. I have looked at the claims and they all have problems.

What evidence we do have does not indicate a mind but just material forces acting acording to their innate nature. Thus what we do know supports a materialist/naturalist view. Very often the debate goes back to First cause but this is also a rhetorical trick because it an argumentam ignoram. In view of the failure to explain where matter came from, then the only answer is 'god'. This is just wrong. The answer is 'we don't know'.
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Old 10-08-2011, 05:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
No one is arguing that there MUST be a diety.

We are only arguing if there MUST NOT be a diety.

Given the way I know the universe to work, I think there SHOULD NOT be a diety, but I also know there SHOULD NOT be time or space, either.

So clearly, I don't know much.
I'd say that for theism to be logically valid, then the postulate 'There must be a deity' is required. That is, the evidence or rationale demands that a deity (an invisible thinking and accomplishing being) must be the best explanation for why this, that or the other is as it is. If that rationale does not stand up then one cannot logically posit 'god' as a reasonable theory.

To say that a god could still be behind it or might have set everything going in the first place is not a reasonable theory for the existence of a god but at best a way of saying that it is still possible. A possibility is nothing like good enough for taking the 'god' concept as feasible, let alone saying that it is necessary.

"Given the way I know the universe to work, I think there SHOULD NOT be a deity, but I also know there SHOULD NOT be time or space, either."

This is why the 'materialist' view or worldview is the better one. Whether time and space or anything else should or should not be there, it is there. Science has shown that it is there and evidentially it must be accepted.

God input whether or not it should or should not be there (and really, how can we know?) is not shown to be there and has not despite strenuous efforts been shown to be there. Thus logically the view that (for all we know) it isn't there is mandatory.

I can see why this sortagod - belief is so compelling but, when the greater logical and evidential soundness of the non - belief position is explained, I find it difficult to see why it just seems to be ignored.
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Old 10-08-2011, 06:15 AM
 
39,227 posts, read 10,905,565 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
The theory of materialism holds that the only thing that exists is matter; that all things are composed of material and all phenomena are the result of material interactions.

For that theory to make any sense we have to have a fixed definition of what "matter" is.

Traditionally, "matter" was an object made of atoms and had only four states; solid, liquid, gas, and plasma.

Thus traditionally a materialist was making the claim that the only things that exist are things that are made of atoms and come in one of those four states.

The materialist were wrong.

We now believe most things in the universe are not made of atoms.

Of course we could simply change the definition of matter to include any new thing we find....but then what good is the term "materialism?"

If materialism simply means "the only things that exist are the things that exist" it's a pretty circular and useless term.

If materialism means "the only things that exists are the things that we know exists plus all the other stuff that we don't yet know about," - it is an equally useless term.

I don't think materialism can be a rational or useful philosophy in a world where we know most of the universe is made out of objects that we have no idea what it's properties are. Materialism is a bankrupt idea it seems to me.

Of course, that says nothing of it's alternatives.
Who has been getting at you? This sounds like the 'science is always getting it wrong' line. The better understanding of how diffuse matter really is has been going on for a century. The view should now I reckon be about innate natural forces rather than any idea of solidity.

I may say that I don't care for the idea of theists forcing the supposed espousal of 'materialism' on me as an atheist (this has sometimes occurred) and demanded that I either prove that everything is explainable in solid matter terms or admit that my whole position was wrong. However, as I recall the material explanation did hold up better, not that this was accepted of course.

I suppose that I can see how the idea of matter had approached rather coincidentally the idea of of a creative deity which (eventually) had to be invisible since not even the Hubble telescope revealed any sign of it. But I don't think it is correct to go overboard into 'well the spirit world must be real and so must God'. That is just making some invalid mental leaps and ones based, it seems, on mythological indoctrination.

While I don't mind a non - religion 'sortagod' belief, it bothers me that that the logical and rational basis is really not very good but that fact seems to be sidelined in favour of an apparently satisfying but unvalidated quasi - explanation.
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Old 10-08-2011, 01:41 PM
 
Location: City-Data Forum
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science hasn't failed us... you have failed science!
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Old 10-08-2011, 01:50 PM
 
Location: Metromess
11,798 posts, read 21,999,820 times
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Not me. I made A's and B's.

I don't understand that post and what you meant by it.
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