Materialistic Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 78 quotes )
The Christian admits that the universe is manifold and even miscellaneous, just as a sane man knows that he is complex. The sane man knows that he has a touch of the beast, a touch of the devil, a touch of the saint, a touch of the citizen. Nay, the really sane man knows that he has a touch of the madman. But the materialist's world is quite simple and solid, just as the madman is quite sure he is sane. The materialist is sure that history has been simply and solely a chain of causation, just as the interesting person before mentioned is quite sure that he is simply and solely a chicken. Materialists and madmen never have doubts.
I find that some philosophers think that my whole approach to qualia is not playing fair. I do?t respect the standard rules of philosophical thought experiments.?But Dan, your view is so counterintuitive? No kidding. Tha?s the whole point. Of course it is counterintuitive. Nowhere is it written that the true materialist theory of consciousness should be blandly intuitive. I have all along insisted that it may be very counterintuitive. Tha?s the trouble with?pur? philosophical method here. It has no resources for developing, or even taking seriously, counterintuitive theories, but since it is a very good bet that the true materialist theory of consciousness will be highly counterintuitive (like the Copernican theory--at least at first), this means that?pur? philosophy must just concede impotence and retreat into conservative conceptual anthropology until the advance of science puts it out of its misery. Philosophers have a choice: they can play games with folk concepts (ordinary language philosophy lives on, as a kind of aprioristic social anthropology) or they can take seriously the claim that some of these folk concepts are illusion-generators. The way to take that prospect seriously is to consider theories that propose revisions to those concepts.
If the solar system was brought about by an accidental collision, then the appearance of organic life on this planet was also an accident, and the whole evolution of Man was an accident too. If so, then all our present thoughts are mere accidents--theaccidental by-product of the movement of atoms. And this holds for the thoughts of the materialists and astronomers as well as for anyone else's. But if their thoughts--i. e. of materialism and astronomy--are merely accidental by-products, why should we believe them to be true? I see no reason for believing that one accident should be able to give me a correct account of all the other accidents. It's like expecting that the accidental shape taken by the splash when you upset a milkjug should give you a correct account of how the jug was made and why it was upset.
The materialist doctrine that men are products of circumstances and upbringing, and that, therefore, changed men are products of other circumstances and changed upbringing, forgets that it is men that change circumstances and that the educator himself needs educating. Hence, this doctrine necessarily arrives at dividing society into two parts, of which one is superior to society (in Robert Owen, for example). The coincidence of the changing of circumstances and of human activity can be conceived and rationally understood only as revolutionising practice.
No people in all history paid a higher price for freedom. And no people have done so much to advance the dignity of man. We are called materialistic. May be s?but our materialism has made our children the biggest, tallest, most handsome, and intelligent generations of Americans yet. They will live longer with fewer illnesses, learn more, see more of the world, and have more success in realizing their personal dreams and ambitions than any other people in any other period of our history - because of our materialis?I think on our side of civilization and on the other side is the law of the jungl?We all have to recognize that this country has been handed the responsibility, greater than any nation, to preserve some 6000 years of civilization against the barbarians.
The Church's stand on birth control is the most absolutely spiritual of all her stands and with all of us being materialists at heart, there is little wonder that it causes unease. I wish various fathers would quit trying to defend it by saying that the world can support 40 billion. I will rejoice the day when they say: This is right whether we all rot on top of each other or not, dear children, as we certainly may. Either practice restraint or be prepared for crowding...
We all have that heritage, no matter what old land our fathers left. All colors and blends of Americans have somewhat the same tendencies. It's a breed - selected out by accident. And so we're overbrave and overfearful - we're kind and cruel as children. We're overfriendly and at the same time frightened of strangers. We boast and are impressed. We're oversentimental and realistic. We are mundane and materialistic - and do you know of any other nation that acts for ideals? We eat too much. We have no taste, no sense of proportion. We throw our energy about like waste. In the old lands they say of us that we go from barbarism to decadence without an intervening culture. Can it be that our critics have not the key or the language of our culture.
But, said Lewis, myths are lies, even though lies breathed through silver. No, said Tolkien, they are not.... just as speech is invention about objects and ideas, so myth is invention about truth. We have come from God (continued Tolkien), and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God. Indeed only by myth-making, only by becoming a 'sub-creator' and inventing stories, can Man aspire to the state of perfection that he knew before the Fall. Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbour, while materialistic 'progress' leads only to a yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil. You mean, asked Lewis, that the story of Christ is simply a true myth, a myth that works on us in the same way as the others, but a myth that really happened? In that case, he said, I begin to understand.
If 'dead' matter has reared up this curious landscape of fiddling crickets, song sparrows, and wondering men, it must be plain even to the most devoted materialists that the matter of which he speaks contains amazing, if not dreadful, powers, and may not impossibly be, as Thomas Hardy has suggested, 'but one mask of many worn by the Great Face behind.
To physically overcome death – is that not the goal? – we must think the unthinkable thoughts and ask unanswerable questions. Yet we must not lose ourselves in abstract vapors of philosophy. Death ahs his concrete allies, we must enlist ours. Never underestimate how much assistance, how much satisfaction, how much comfort, how much soul and transcendence there might be in a well-made taco and a cold bottle of beer. The solution to the ultimate problem may prove to be elemental and quite practical. Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have known all along that it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek.
The materialist theory of history, that all politics and ethics are the expression of economics, is a very simple fallacy indeed. It consists simply of confusing the necessary conditions of life with the normal preoccupations of life, that are quite a different thing. It is like saying that because a man can only walk about on two legs, therefore he never walks about except to buy shoes and stockings.
Those whose acquaintance with scientific research is derived chiefly from its practical results easily develop a completely false notion of the mentality of the men who, surrounded by a skeptical world, have shown the way to kindred spirits scattered wide through the world and through the centuries. Only one who has devoted his life to similar ends can have a vivid realization of what has inspired these men and given them the strength to remain true to their purpose in spite of countless failures. It is cosmic religious feeling that gives a man such strength. A contemporary has said, not unjustly, that in this materialistic age of ours the serious scientific workers are the only profoundly religious people.
I am not even an atheist so much as an antitheist; I not only maintain that all religions are versions of the same untruth, but I hold that the influence of churches and the effect of religious belief, is positively harmful. Reviewing the false claims of religion I do not wish, as some sentimental materialists affect to wish, that they were true. I do not envy believers their faith. I am relieved to think that the whole story is a sinister fairy tale; life would be miserable if what the faithful affirmed was actually true.... There may be people who wish to live their lives under cradle-to-grave divine supervision, a permanent surveillance and monitoring. But I cannot imagine anything more horrible or grotesque.
Some change their philosophy of life with every book they read: one book sells them on Freud, the next on Marx; materialists one year, idealists the next; cynics for another period, and Eberals for still another. They have their quivers full of arrows but no fixed target. As no game makes the hunter tired of the sport, so the want of destiny makes the mind bored with life.