2009 December

Editorial December 2009

by Jan Scholten
The new religion: materialism.
There is a strange thing going on in our culture. It becomes less and less religious, so it seems. But the void is filled with a new form of ideas, that of science and materialism. Science as we know it has taken over the position of the the old religions. The main stream of thought and philosophy is that of science.
Science looks very different from the old religions, but it is a a kind of disguise. It looks different because science says it is concerned with experience and not with beliefs. Science has much more in common with religion that it seems at first sight. Both science and religion look for the essence of the world, the ultimate explanation. In religion it is called God. In the new religion science it is called matter, or theory. The ultimate God than the universal theory that science and physics are looking for. It has to give the ultimate explanation. This is what God does in old religions.
The churches of the old religions are replaced by universities and hospitals. The priests of the new religion are the scientist and doctors that know better than you and have the tendency to take you over, especially in hospitals. The priests are replaced by psychotherapists and other therapists.
There is one peculiar thing about the new religion, which can be called materialism. It denies any God. Only matter exists and everything non-material is denied. One could call the new God of this religion Matter.
Even more peculiar is the great contradiction in this new religion. The starting point that there is only matter, is not experimental. One could call it an axiom, a paradigm, a belief, or dogma. It means it is just a thought that cannot be confirmed, that has no ground, that it is just assumed and that is contradictory to the axiom that everything has to be shown by experiment.
But there is an even deeper contradiction. In the theory of materialism every emotion or thought is denied to have an existence. They are "just", "only" electro-magnetic reactions in the brain. If that would be true, then also the thought "all things are only matter" is just an electro-magnetic reaction in the brain. It doesn't have any meaning at all, it doesn't even exist. So why bother about it. In this sense one could say that the theory of materialism makes it clear that it cannot exist itself.
Why should one discuss with a materialist? Why should one talk to electromagnetic reactions in brains? There seems to be very little worth in that.
We wish you a good edition and much reading pleasure with the December edition of Interhomepathy.

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Reply #1 on : Tue December 01, 2009, 07:10:50
In his book, "Miracles", C.S.Lewis disproved the materialist argument. It's called "the argument from reason" and can be found summarised on:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_Reason

It shows that reason cannot come from unreason although it might seem that way. I cannot see any fault with the argument myself. But the idea that there is a God is very unwelcome to many people for other reasons so it is possible to ignore the argument from reason and go on upholding atheism.

Personally I find the argument from reason reassuring.

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