View Single Post
Dec20-03, 12:17 PM
P: 1,032
Originally posted by FZ+
[B]And fruit and non-fruit can be encapsulated within the overall idea of matter.
Matter? What's that? Do you mean matter as opposed to something else? What is this something else? If there is nothing else then matter means nothing to me. Useless word.

My definition of materialism is that materialism is everything, and that any distinction we put in is not going to be in any way useful.
I know what you're definition is. I just don't believe it is the correct definition of the word. At least I haven't been able to find any credible usage of it in the form "material=everything".

It is an useful term because it implies an acceptance in that the universe is one thing, one thing that we can understand and apply the same principles to.
No, it is not useful. We already have words that do that. Namely, "universe", "everything", "existence", "reality". We don't need another word to mean this. As a matter of fact, continuing to use and enter debates in this forum on this word is very much like debating with people who believe in the existence of things that aren't included in "everything". It's a silly position. To debate someone like this is just debating for the sake of debating. Why use a word that obviously has so much confusion attached to it when it is not needed? (I still argue your definition is wrong)

One might say - what use is it to create a non-material distinction, when as far as science or anything is concerned, it can be treated the same way?
This is loaded with assumptions. You are continuing to criticize the idea of developing a definitional distinction based on you're own definitions. It doesn't make sense to me to criticize definition A because it is inconsistent with definition B.

To clarify, why do you assume that a distinction has anything to do with what science is capable of if you aren't assuming something about what that definition is? For example, if I say that from now on "material" means solid things only and immaterial means liquid and gaseous things only, what is the implication of this distinction for science? There is none. They're just words for communication purposes. Now we can say "immaterial" when referring to these things instead of "liquid and gaseous" things. Minor verbal convenience.

While this example is not very useful and no one would agree with these definitions, it is an example of what must be done here. We must come to agreement on what the distinction is and only then can we say whether these distinctions actually exists! As my example above illustrates.

What use is, for example, LWSleeth's insistence that materialist science forces only a standard chemical explanation of life, when materialist scientists have always used mysterious laws to explain the universe? Science and materialism has no objections to a law of life, as there has been a law of gravitation, or momentum, of light, of electromagnetics and so on - most scientists simply do not think it is yet required.
I think Les' primary point has been that the evidence doesn't warrant the certainty. You claim that science doesn't feel a law of life is required "yet", but Les' point has been to suggest the insufficient evidence to justify this certainty that is being advertised is misleading and is itself reason to doubt that science would "ever" consider a law of life even if the time did come to consider one.

How about telling me what you would label my beliefs as? Maybe we can then have a poll to see who is a materialist, after all.
I'm going to try to make this clear once again. I am not talking about your beliefs. I've already said that I'm not trying to change your belief systems. I'm suggesting that you need a new word to describe it. You tell me what you believe about reality without using words like matter and materialism and I'll find a label.

In a way. Weak atheists who accept the idea of divinity must accept that there is a possibility that God exists. Strong atheists who deny even the possibility of God existing deny the idea of divinity itself.
They deny the idea of what? Divinity? What's that? How can I deny something if, by the very fact of denying it, there is no concept to deny? This is related to the quotes below.

Materialism is based on the denial of the distinction, and the reclassifying is the demonstration of that.
At the risk of being offensive I have to say this view is completely ridiculous. Not only does it not make any sense but this fusion of language/truth is an extremely unproductive idea for a philosophy forum. If this is what people really think then I might as well resign my handle now and move on.