Skip to content
February 14, 2016 / compassioninpolitics

The Death Knell of Materialist/Naturalist Reductionism as an Ideology and Worldview

Materialism/Naturalism versus The Realities of Our Daily Lives:

The universe itself isn’t intelligent. Objects are not intelligent. Thats science.

There is intelligence in the universe. There is intention in the universe. There is purpose in the universe. There is design in the universe. There is beauty in the universe. There is wonder in the universe. There is choice in the universe. There are minds that transcend brains in the universe. There is value in the universe. There is consciousness in the universe. These all are problematic from a materialist/naturalist paradigm.

Because without the above we couldn’t have intelligent conversations. A world of relative truth makes dialog impossible. The world of no purpose collapses understandings of science that stem from the purpose of actions of individuals and groups.
Because without the above we couldn’t be ourselves in the sense of choosing and dignified beings.
Because without the above our meaning and purpose.
We don’t live in a “dadaist painting” Thats not the metaphor of live, otherwise all the academy, libraries, and bookstores would be useless.
The foundation of making choices about dignity, rights, justice, responsibility, duty, and excellence begins with something that is more substantive than just relative.
Because if its all just relative everything you’ve ever done is mostly meaningless and everything you’ve ever read and ever said is mostly meaningless.

What you are observing when you see the implications of intelligence that perhaps suggest that the universe is intelligent, you are actually seeing intelligence that manifests at another level.

We are more than “flotsam and jetsam” as Martin Luther King Jr. aptly pointed out in his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. Life is more than just “chemistry, biology, and physics.” Our complex choices, relationships, values, decision-making and deliberation, consciousness, and emotional lives that leaves material-only understandings of reality quite literally “in the dust” and the dustbins of history.

We are a people in search of a new paradigm, a better paradigm that actually takes the lived experiences of human beings–rather than treating them as objects for dehumanization.

Humans are more than food and sex robots. We develop in quirky, nuanced, unpredictable, rich, deep, paradoxical, but also enriching and fulfilling ways. We live in a world in which humans are rational beings and yet so much more–we are relational and communal. We develop as individuals over time through relationship–and reach new heights of understanding.

All of this calls the ontological and epistemological reductionism of materialism on its ill fated bet with history–its not a fulfilling of humanity but the selling out of humanity. It stripped humanity of its uniqueness, personality, subjectivity, identity, emotionality, and relationality. [thats not me, that the feminist talking, but I’ll be glad to agree]. We live embedded lives in systems.

CS Lewis quote

So what should emerge is a radical cognitive dissonance. The underlying ideology of materialism is a monkey in the room–its a shell game–and the jig is up.

[Possible other authors to add–University of Texas and Mary Migdley]

Using reductionism or materialism alone to attempt to understand us is but one part. Remember there was a Romantic period which spoke to the human experience in very deep ways that juxtaposed and intertwined with Enlightenment reason. To attempt to understand humans only through our rationality is to miss the boat. Its to burn down the art museum and every book on literature. It is to set fire to the movie theatre. And to ignore what lies at the very core of the human experience–relationship, family, community, and love.

Love is a dirty word or just a feeling or just a squirt of chemicals in the materialist world. Conceptually the materialist is without recourse or understanding of the phenomena of love that lies at our hearts both literally and metaphorically.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: