Materialism vs immaterialism
After I suggested that he read "The Scientific Worldview," joogabah wrote:
Yes, I did read it. I'm trying to express religious ideas from a materialist paradigm without contradiction.
[GB: Sorry, joogabah, but that cannot be done. That is because materialism and immaterialism are opposing assumptions, as I explained in the discussion of the First Assumption of Science. Typically, an immaterialist will say: “There must be something beyond matter in motion.” That is why we define “things” as xyz portions of the universe. “Matter” is the abstraction for “all things,” so the immaterialist must be using a different definition for “something,” which is purely imaginary. That “something” cannot possibly exist, because existence can only be a property of an xyz portion of the universe.
Of course, we all need to study religious imaginings so that we will understand the 90% of the folks who live their lives by them. While most of those imaginings have no physical evidence to support them, they still have an evolutionary purpose: to instill and enforce loyalty.]
The reason is that I think religion is doing something essential in human societies that is not considered when one simply views it as "false".
[GB: Social groups without loyalty could not exist in a hostile world. Overpopulation by neighboring tribes forces those tribes to seek resources necessary for their survival despite the necessity to trespass or invade. In those cases, war is inevitable. That is why religion and war go hand in hand. However, loyalty can be engendered without religion. Many atheistic social groups do just fine without it.]
Religion is a commentary on the human condition and it addresses our linguistically determined subjectivity, which is the only reality we actually experience.
[GB: Sorry, but subjectivity does not require language. Most animals have subjectivity whether they have language or not.]
To reduce reality to matter in motion is to ignore that part of it that exists as us.
[GB: Sorry, but we are all microcosms, portions of the universe consisting of matter in motion. Anything that “exists” is matter.]
We are a jumble of myriad linguistic constructs.
[GB: False. We consist of matter. We use linguistic constructs; we are not made up of linguistic constructs.]
That is what animates us.
[GB: We are animated by the univironment, the infinite matter in motion inside and outside us. Language is unnecessary for us to be animated.]
That is our "soul".
[GB: There is no such thing. That belief comes straight out of religion.]
It is thousands of years old, and it has become the primary information system in our species, eclipsing DNA, because of its ability to bring about change orders of magnitude faster than biological evolution.
[GB: False. Language is part of biological evolution. All evolution is at times slow and at times fast.]
It is that creative process and its seemingly limitless potential that we worship as our creator, because language precedes us even tho the species developed it - new individuals are literally created by it.
[GB: Sorry, but “worship” is supplication to another microcosm (predator, priest, president, or other microcosm powerful enough to do us harm). We are not created by language; we create language. That is something that an immaterialist like Deepak would dream up, with this idea that consciousness created the universe instead of the other way around.]
There needs to be a part of materialism that addresses this, and until there is, religion will have something that more closely resembles lived experience, because it addresses human subjectivity and rational, linguistic meaning.
[GB: Since the universe and ourselves consist only of matter in motion, we have no choice but to understand subjectivity and “rational, linguistic meaning” in those terms. All language requires a subject (matter) and a verb (motion).]
We are not our bodies.
[GB: Egads! What else could we be? When our bodies are gone, we are gone.]
Our bodies enable our existence.
When I say “Glenn”, I am addressing years of linguistic, rational development, not human tissue.
[GB: Sorry, but I do not pretend to be anything else, although that human tissue does seem to have recorded a bit of linguistic, rational stuff.]
Not matter, or the blind motion of matter, but consciously perceived meaning, whose determinants are not the collision of particles but conscious, rational deliberation.
[GB: Sorry, but matter is not always blind. Materialists are careful not to denigrate matter, because that is what we are, including the 80 billion neurons that help us to “consciously perceive meaning.” Consciousness is the motion performed by those neurons. Like all microcosms in the infinite universe, they cannot operate without the “collision of particles” that you seem to despise.]