Talk:Materialism

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I think this needs a full citation for the book you used. --John 00:09, 5 March 2007 (EST)

Yeah... I think we need citations on some of this. Barikada 21:24, 25 January 2008 (EST)

Economics isn't materialism?

This article states that Democrats tend to be more materialistic than Republicans, however, it cites economics as an issue which Republicans traditionally focus on, and uses this as evidence that they are less (or not) materialistic. Well, my issue with this is that as far I can guage through my knowledge of the concept, economic is the truest form of materialism! It is essentially an axiomatic, consensus-based system of trading commodity for hypothetical value, is it not? Green paper or shiny metals in exchange for useful goods? Perhaps if this article could explain this ostensible contradiction away by explaining that Republicans are more likely to view it as a vital organizing device for society, or at least, that they are prone to downplaying this aspect of the hypocrisy. Just sayin'.

Hollybibble 17:25, 19 April 2008 (EDT)

We definitely need citations for this article, maybe quote some democrats and show their materialistic nature. Or evidence supporting the claims of a trend in democratic policies to only focus on superficial things like gender, race, and wealth. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Discipleof88 (talk)
How are race, gender and wealth superficial? A poor black female is certainly not the same as a rich white male, in my experience. Also, the quote in the quotes section does not have a name associated with it, and is linked to a website written by a man with a fundamental misunderstanding of the fundamental forces which are: gravity, the weak nuclear force, the strong nuclear force, and the electromagnetic force. Furthermore, the sentence "Materialism denies that most great intellectual breakthroughs were the result of faith in the unseen" has no associated explanation whatsoever, and probably assumes that it is true because most scientists had faith in the unseen, without realizing that that might not be the cause of the breakthrough. -JZim
Race at least is superficial. Why do you say that the quote is written by someone with a "fundamental misunderstanding of the fundamental forces"? As for the cause of the breakthroughs, see Natural science#beginnings; it was a cause. Philip J. Rayment 20:58, 7 November 2008 (EST)
I mentioned that fundamental misunderstanding bit because the author of the article conveniently ignores the underlying principles of, say, hard drive-making. In his article he cites as a tenet of his hypothesis that a hard drive is no heavier when it is full than when it is empty, and therefore that it contains nothing in either state, and thus that information does not exist physically. In fact, hard drives are built on the principles of basic electronics, which incorporate the fundamental force called electromagnetic, in that electrons are moved through the hard drive and switching states of bistable multivibrators between 1 and 0. Electrons (actual particles with mass and energy), silicone and germanium and semiconductor junctions in general, governed by Boolean algebra is by no means outside of the physical world. The same goes for the great mini-supercomputer we call a brain. In light of this, his entire argument falls apart, because the presence of information is explained by processes well within the material realm, and the quote in the quotes section is obsolete and wrong.
In addition, I read the Natural Science article, and it really confused me. I see no logic in it whatsoever.
—The preceding unsigned comment was added by JZim (talk)
Well, I guess I can't do much about your inability to understand the Natural Science article, unless you can explain what is confusing you about it.
As for the hard drive example, your response totally sidesteps the point. His comments about information not being physical are quite correct. See information for more. You are still not clear what you are referring to, in that the linked page of his doesn't mention hard disks (or drives), so I'm only going by what you say he says. Information is found in the arrangement of matter (including the state of electrons), not in their presence. Processes in the material world do not explain the origin of information; they can only explain the medium on which it is stored and transmitted. His quote in this article page is quite correct.
Philip J. Rayment 21:30, 7 November 2008 (EST)
I read the information article. It simply reinforces the argument presented on the website in question (which I suggest you read) and does not actually serve as a reliable resource for supporting evidence. In the natural science article, I noticed that it states that science is not possible without Christianity, and the pursuit of science outside of Christianity is merely unfounded idle speculation. It also strongly implies that without Christianity, the concept of a real, orderly, and observable universe is impossible, and states that we are rational because God is rational. These conjectures seem biased and illogical to me. Perhaps I am devoid of the particular logic that is required to decipher the article as logical. I have long held that I am too sane for society. As to the problem of information not being physical, we could use the exact same argument to show that feelings, visions, causes of physical movement, etc etc are separate dimensions in and of themselves, and then we would simply flummox ourselves into insanity, and achieve nothing. Alternatively, we could simply accept that information can exist physically in that the medium in which it exists actually IS information, much as the space in which we live, which is not entirely populated by matter, exists physically because it can only be explained physically and cannot exist without physical interaction. Lastly, the origin of information can well be random, as has been shown multiple times by scientists and idle thinkers alike, depending on the method of interpretation (is p an r or is r a p?) and information can be taken to be a record of observable processes (per Pavlov's experiments). --JZim 10:52, 8 November 2008 (EST)
"It simply reinforces the argument presented on the website in question...": Good! An independent source supporting the Conservapedia article!
"...which I suggest you read...": I have read it before.
"...does not actually serve as a reliable resource for supporting evidence.": Why not?
"I noticed that [the Natural science article] states that science is not possible without Christianity...": No, it says that Christianity, and not some other belief systems, supplies a philosophical basis for science. That's not the same as saying that it's not possible without Christianity.
"These conjectures seem biased and illogical to me.": And yet you totally fail to point out any fault in the logic! As for the bias, I'd suggest that these "conjectures" (which is a misrepresentation) only seem biased to you because they don't fit with your bias.
"I have long held that I am too sane for society.": Hmmm. If you are the only sane one and the rest are not sane, perhaps you only think you are sane?
"As to the problem of information not being physical...": "Problem"? What problem?
"...we could use the exact same argument to show that [various things] are separate dimensions in and of themselves, and then we would simply flummox ourselves into insanity...": That appears to be something of a non-sequitur there.
"Alternatively, we could simply accept that information can exist physically in that the medium in which it exists actually IS information...": We could simply accept something that the evidence shows is not the case???
"Lastly, the origin of information can well be random, as has been shown multiple times by scientists and idle thinkers alike...": Yet you cite not one example of scientists and "idle thinkers" showing this.
"...depending on the method of interpretation...": Or, rather, how one defines information. I'm talking here about data that has meaning. Matches on a table laid out in the shape of letters and words which spell "I have gone out" constitutes information, because it has meaning (it tells you something that the person who laid them out wanted you to know). Matches scattered randomly on a table do not tell you anything specific, so have no meaning, so do not constitute information. And note that the matter (the matches) are the same in both cases; it's the arrangement that is different. The information is conveyed in the arrangement of the matches, not in the matches themselves.
Philip J. Rayment 08:08, 9 November 2008 (EST)
My apologies, Philip, for not replying earlier; I have been busy making preparations for my 18th birthday, which is coming up soon. Moving forward:
The external article that supports the CP view is not a "source". It is essentially a blog article. It has not been peer-reviewed, it has not [apparently] been researched, it is simply a philosophical argument that may well be flawed. The fact that the CP view is in agreement with it proves nothing; in fact, it implies that the CP view was heavily influenced by that website. See circular reasoning.
You say that you read the website. Yet you also said you remember nothing of hard drives. I suggest, therefore, that you read it again, as I derived my hard drive argument from that website's expressions.
The bias I saw was not perceived by me because of any bias on my part. The entry clearly states: Although some early civilizations, particularly Greece, developed some scholarship, it was not until the 1500s in Europe that science proper developed. This was due to the prevailing Christian world view .... How is this not biased? It states almost explicitly that the science of the ancient Greeks was merely idle speculation. For "scholarship" zdr "science" is not really science, is it (by definition)? And where is the evidence that pre-Christian "scholarship" was not "science proper"?
My statement regarding my sanity is this. I examine almost everything I and others do objectively. I try to fathom the reasons for almost everything. Thus, if the definition of insanity is doing things without a clear reason, then I am more sane than the general populace, am I not?
It is a problem if information is not physical, as opposed to it being physical. That would add another necessary dimension to our sphere of perception .. or would it? Would a non-physical entity called information be within our sphere of perception, if all that we can perceive is physical? Or is information a spiritual entity; or, indeed, God? The complexity of the science of information thus necessarily increases.
In regards to the abovementioned "problem", would it not make sense to assume that anything that is interpreted physically but not actually verifiably physical is another dimension, or spiritual entity? How about feelings? forces? intelligence itself? If we were to conjure new entities willy-nilly, then we would be subject to the problem of appearing to simply explain everything with the philosophical equivalent of "God did it". Is that in the interests of any science? I think not.
As to your next point, I counter: what evidence? I have no wish to shoot you down, I wish simply to objectively examine this evidence.
Probability holds that matches scattered randomly on a table *can* provide a perceived message. Can we decipher the following if we find it in nature? हाँ हम कर सकते है! But could you do it without me to interpret it?--JZim 12:09, 11 November 2008 (EST)

(unindent) No need to apologise for taking your time to respond; the longer everyone takes, the more time I have for other things!

My comment about the "independent source" was a bit tongue-in-cheek, but because you seemed to think that another source agreeing was somehow a bad thing. However, it is a source, and has apparently been researched. True, it's not peer-reviewed, but that's not a requirement for something to be a source.

If you are talking about the CP information page, I can't see how agreement implies that it was influenced by the web-site at all. Simply because it agrees? That's nonsense. And for the record, as the main author of the information page, I can state categorically that it was not influenced by that web-site at all.

"You say that you read the website. Yet you also said you remember nothing of hard drives. I suggest, therefore, that you read it again, as I derived my hard drive argument from that website's expressions.": We are talking about the web-site which was the source of the quote in this (Materialism) article, aren't we? This site? Or more specifically, that page (as opposed to other pages on the site)? I read it ages ago, but I've also done searches of the page for "hard", "drive" and "disk" and found nothing there relating to hard disks.

What do you mean, "how is this not biased"? Rather, how is it biased? You've not demonstrated any bias at all. Bias is someone believing something because of a particular view that they have that influences their beliefs in a non-objective way. You've not shown that the author of that comment had a particular view that influenced that statement in a non-objective way.

Your comment about sanity was not that you believe that you are saner than the population average, but that you are "too sane for society", which implies that you are saner than everyone else. In any case, I do not agree with your definition of insanity.

Why is "add[ing] another necessary dimension to our sphere of perception" a problem? Actually, it wouldn't be doing that anyway. Even if it's not physical, we do already perceive it, so it wouldn't be adding to our perceptions. What it would be adding to is our understanding, if this is what we believe, that everything that we perceive is physical.

Who says that all that we can perceive is physical? No, I would not claim that information is spiritual. Rather, I guess it could be classified as mental. Yes, the complexity of the science of information does increase. But since when is that a problem? The complexity of most areas of science is increasing all the time.

Do you think feelings are physical? I wouldn't. Nobody's suggesting "conjur[ing] new entities willy-nilly". Rather, we are talking about deductions based on observations. Science doesn't (or shouldn't) say, "this is not true because it requires us to add something new to our understanding".

For evidence, see the bibliography section of the information article.

"Probability holds that matches scattered randomly on a table *can* provide a perceived message.": Please explain that, including explaining what you mean by a "perceived" message. And explain who left the message.

"Can we decipher the following if we find it in nature? हाँ हम कर सकते है!": First, you would not find that in nature. I can tell that that is something that is the product of an intelligent being. Second, we do find unknown writing at times, and if there's enough to go on, we can decipher it. That's if it is writing or some other code of course. If it's not, then there is nothing to decipher.

Philip J. Rayment 20:59, 11 November 2008 (EST)

I wrote a lengthy reply, and when I tried to save it, I found that I wasn't logged in, and it was lost to me. I'll try to reconstruct it later. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by JZim (talk)
Annoying, isn't it? Philip J. Rayment 07:02, 12 November 2008 (EST)
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