Re: virus: socially retarded materialists

Robin Faichney (
Thu, 18 Feb 1999 20:37:41 +0000

In message <>, writes
>In a message dated 2/18/99 3:33:46 AM Central Standard Time,
> writes:
><< 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. >>
>I already did. I talked about matter, energy, organization, control, and
>material abstractions. And you wrote it off as a semantics game.

No I didn't. I said that the decision whether or not to call such things "material" is a semantic one. Implying that my decision not to do so is no more or less semantic than your decision to do so. Are you confusing me with Reed, or just (over)reacting to any mention of semantics?

>>>>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.<<
>I don't see "materialistic" and "social" worldviews as being either distinct
>from each other or inconsistent. But since you wrote it all off as a
>semantics game, I am sure you weren't paying much attention to what I actually

I think I understood quite clearly what you said. On the other hand, you failed to respond to most of what I said. Especially my main point, as to why I don't consider abstractions to be usefully termed "material".

>BTW, this seems to be a common response on this list. If you don't agree with
>somebody, call their position a "semantics game".

I congratulate you on developing what appears to be a relatively original strategy: divert attention from the shortcomings of your own argument by accusing your protagonist of dismissing your argument as a semantics game.

If you're interested in getting this back on topic, how about responding to this: the materialist worldview is (or at least claims to be) wholly objective, while social activity has ineliminable subjective elements -- so while holding to a consistently materialistic view, you cannot engage in social activity (and vice versa).