Some of the readers of this blog are of a scientific inclination, and are probably confused, or even troubled, by my mention of “intentional objects” in my last post. I am not a real philosopher (except in the broad sense that everybody is a philosopher), so I have some understanding of why readers might be troubled by the terminology of intentionality.
Since posting “Why I am not a materialist” some comments have suggested that I really am a materialist since I am not proposing anything supernatural nor any immaterial spiritual soul. Well, fair enough, if that is all that materialism implies. However, the reason that I deny that I am a materialist, is that I disagree with a lot of what materialists say. It seems to me that for those who declare themselves materialists, their materialism dictates their approach on how to explain things. And I don’t want my methodology to be dictated by metaphysical assumptions.
Yesterday, I responded to a series of questions for theists, answering as I would have back when I was a theist with growing doubt. This post responds to some recent questions that matt (over at the Well Spent Journey blog) has posed for atheists: “Twelve Questions to Ask an Atheist.” Some of these questions are actually relevant to the kind of issue that I often discuss here. As before, I will quote the question or perhaps an abridged version, before answering. I suggest that you also visit matt’s original post where he poses the questions.
A while ago, M. Rodriguez posted a series of questions to ask Christians (theists). He/she had previously posted questions for atheists.
I am no longer a theist, so perhaps I shouldn’t answer. I will respond based on how I believe I would have responded back when I was a theist. Note, however, that was a long time ago. I will quote the questions before answering. But I may quote in an abbreviated form. For the full original question, please see the original post: “The Christian (Theist) Challenge.”
Does QM have anything to do with God? Physicist Stephen Barr apparently thinks it does, and expresses that view in “Does Quantum Physics Make it Easier to Believe in God?” at the BQO site. Personally, I think he is talking nonsense.
Barr even admits to some difficulties with arguing what his title says:
More properly, my title should probably be “Why I claim that I am not a materialist.” I say that, because I am often called a materialist, usually by creationists or id proponents whom I have engaged in debate. So I guess that I should allow the possibility that I am mistaken about whether I am a materialist.
While there are some differences between materialism, physicalism and naturalism, most of what I say in this post will apply to all.
For those who are not sure what materialism, physicalism and naturalism entail, may I suggest that you check the entries in Wikipedia, SEP (Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy) and other online sources. When you have finished reading those, you might still be unsure what these isms entail, but your time reading them won’t have been wasted.
I don’t normally comment on these kinds of issues. But there is a great post over at the Slacktivist blog.
Hmm, that text shows up a pretty large. Copy and paste copies attributes. Often, when copying, I first copy to a plain text editor, then recopy from there to avoid carrying over fancy presentation attributes. However, in this case, I will let it stand in large type.
Now, go over there and read the full post, to find out what it is about.