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Friday, September 21, 2007

Nearby blogs: Anarchic Harmony on materialists and truth

William J. Murray, at Anarchic Harmony, asks whether materialists are just rationalizing bigotry:
The point I see delivered by materialists most often is that it's the truth, but I can't understand what truth is supposed to mean from a materialists perspective, or given that it exists and can be discerned, why it's important to them.

Most materialists believe that the universe is determined (with perhaps chaotic factors), and that they are programmed biological machines. As such, they only think something is true for the same reason a non-materialist thinks something is true: they are programmed by biology, physics, and chance to believe so. Determining what is "really" true would require that one can transcend their programming to some objective, neutral state - a impossibility to a materialist, since they **are** the programming.

Also, why would "truth" even be relevant to a materialist? Wouldn't "what works best for the desired goal" be the only meaningful consideration? Since they have no hope of discerning "what is true", and since in the long run it hardly matters as long as there is success, why cling to this irrelevancy?

Well, maybe they think political power IS truth. At least, that's what all twentieth century materialist systems have thought.

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