virus: socially retarded materialists (not)

Robin Faichney (
Thu, 18 Feb 1999 09:22:25 +0000

In message <>, writes
>In a message dated 2/17/99 3:39:51 AM Central Standard Time,
> writes:
><< Seems to me like most if not all "one worldview" people are
> materialists. To be a materialist, however, and to operate
> as a social animal, involve different worldviews. >>
>They do? Are you a materialist? I don't see that they necessarily do.
>>>In one there is nothing but matter, or objects.<<
>There is? Is there not organization to matter? Are not mechanisms and
>schemes of control as material as the the things they are composed of?

That's a question of semantics. You are free to call such things "material" if you want to. I prefer not to, because of this profound difference: numerical identity. Concrete objects are enumerated as in one apple plus another apple makes two apples. But two instances of the same abstraction is still one abstraction. Abstractions are therefore very different from material objects.

>Is an
>abstraction based on material phenomenon, not just as real and material
as the
>matter that it is based upon?

Just as real, yes. But that does not imply just as material.

>>>In the other, there are also subjects, entities that are aware of objects.
>The subject is not material -- if you disagree, tell me where in the brain (or
>elsewhere) it is found. Of course, it's not supernatural, or immaterial,
>The entity "I" or "Jake" is an abstraction...
> That doesn't
>make "Jake" any less of a material phenomenon.

See above.

>>>There is no need to enumerate basic kinds of stuff. To say
>that there is only one, which is matter, is just to react
>against dualism (two kinds) or idealism (one kind, but it's
>not matter). Stop reacting, and start thinking: does "basic
>kinds of stuff" actually mean anything? If so, I'd be
>interested to learn what.<<
>Indeed, I think your own dualistic prejudices are preventing you from
>exploring these things...
>There are no supernatural ghostly puppeteers behind the scenes.

In your assumption that I believe in "ghostly puppeteers", you are betraying your own prejudice. No way am I a dualist. You are just confirming what I said: that materialism is a reaction against dualism -- have you ever seen a pro-materialist argument that did not assume that "the enemy" is dualism? I haven't. You are stuck in a Level 2 dichotomy. :-) If you disagree, and continue to insist that materialistic metaphysics is meaningful, then tell me exactly what "basic kinds of stuff" means.

>Why is it that so many people are tempted to depict materialists as
>deficient or impaired as social creatures?

Again, you take me to be saying something quite different from what I actually said. My point, as made clear in the Subject line (which you changed) was about worldviews. The materialistic and social worldviews are inconsistent. Materialists are not (necessarily) less sociable, just (necessarily) inconsistent.