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Showing posts from September, 2007

Does Naturalism Entail Materialism?

Suppose you're a non-theist of the thoroughly secular sort: not only is there no theistic god, but neither is there a deistic god; nor are there any finite gods or a world spirit, or anything of that sort. There is just the natural world. Must you thereby be a materialist? That is, must you believe that everything is composed of matter in the old-fashioned sense? To put it more formally, consider the following strict conditional, which I shall call 'Naturalism Entails Materialism' (NEM for short):

(NEM) Necessarily, If naturalism is true, then materialism is true.

Now my question is this: is NEM true? If it is, then this isn't obvious. I've argued in a previous post that naturalism is compatible with the existence of abstract objects. That is, naturalism is compatible with the existence of immaterial, necessarily existent, non-spatiotemporal entities (I also argued that traditional theism is *incompatible* with the existence of abstract objects in that previo…

The Very Best Debate on Theism is Now Occuring Online

Here. I'm not talking about a circus-show, low-brow debate of the sort William Lane Craig regularly engages in (replete with rhetoric, cheap debating tricks, and showmanship). Rather, I'm talking about a *real* debate between top philosophers on both sides of the fence. It's somewhat difficult to follow if you don't have a background in philosophy, but it's nonetheless accessible if you're willing to think hard, read the footnotes, and exercise patience in following the arguments. I promise you it'll be worth it!