Sunday, April 20, 2008

Why can't philosophy alone kill off materialism?

Campus Crusade for Christ's Tom Gilson reviewed The Spiritual Brain for Touchstone Magazine (April 2008). On the whole, he seems to have liked the book, though he wonders why we cannot demolish materialism through philosophy alone.

Myself, I would answer that materialists have their own philosophers and their own way of doing philosophy. They aim at convincing us either that our minds do not really exist or that they are simply the buzz of our selfish genes, trying to get themselves passed on in our offspring. Yes, of course, that would also b e true of their ideas, but their second move is to shut down discussion and debate - see the Expelled movie for how that happens.

Philosophy alone cannot decide the issue. We must look at evidence from science as well.

Never mind that for now. I was glad that he picked up on one of my main intentions in the book, which was to expose the way in which popular science media promote materialist ideas out of all proportion to the evidence. I wrote a letter to the editor, saying, in part:
Materialist science is a narrative, and, as it happens, a fictional one. The advent of quantum mechanics should have killed materialism off, but Darwinian evolution - as a faith position - appears to be keeping it in place. That is, in my view, the key reason that the controversy is so hot.

Here is his blog, The Thinking Christian.

Note: The text of the review is not yet on line. When it is, I will link to it.

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