Arthur Schopenhauer - Jane Goodall - Madonna - Wassily Kandinsky - Rudolph Steiner - Kenneth Clark TV - G K Chesterton - John Clerk Maxwell - Richard Dawkins - J B S Haldane -
Materialism is the philosophy of the subject who forgets to take account of himself. Arthur Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation
Everything objective, extended, active, and hence everything material, is regarded by materialism as so solid a basis for its explanations that a reduction to this (especially if it should ultimately result in thrust and counter-thrust) can leave nothing to be desired. But all this is something that is given only very indirectly and conditionally, and is therefore only relatively present, for it has passed through the machinery and fabrication of the brain, and hence has entered the forms of time, space, and causality, by virtue of which it is first of all presented as extended in space and operating in time. ibid.
I don’t know what God is. But in my wildest dreams I would never conceive of God or a god as being like a modern human being in a materialistic society. Jane Goodall
We are living in a material world
And I am a material girl … Madonna, Material Girl, song 1984
The nightmare of materialism, which has turned the life of the universe into an evil, useless game, is not yet past; it holds the awakening soul still in its grip. Wassily Kandinsky
What is the aim of these secret brotherhoods? They do not work out of any particular British patriotism but out of the desire to bring the whole world under the yoke of pure materialism ... Certain elements of the British people as the bearer of the consciousness soul are most suitable for this; the brotherhoods want, by means of grey magic, to use these elements as promoters of this materialism. This is the important point. Those who know what impulses are at work in world events can also steer them. No other national element, no other people, has ever before been so usable as material for transforming the whole world into a materialistic realm. Rudolf Steiner, The Karma of Untruthfulness
Their aim is to send a wave of materialism over the Earth and to make the physical plane the only valid one. A spiritual world is to be recognised only in terms of what the physical plane has to offer. ibid.
There is still no centre. The moral and intellectual failure of Marxism has left us with no alternative to heroic materialism. And that isn’t enough. Kenneth Clark, Civilisation 13/13: Heroic Materialism, BBC 1969
There is a very special sense in which materialism has more restrictions than spiritualism. Mr McCabe thinks me a slave because I am not allowed to believe in determinism. I think Mr McCabe a slave because he is not allowed to believe in fairies. But if we examine the two vetoes we shall see that his is really much more of a pure veto than mine. The Christian is quite free to believe that there is a considerable amount of settled order and inevitable development in the universe. But the materialist is not allowed to admit into his spotless machine the slightest speck of spiritualism or miracle. Poor Mr McCabe is not allowed to retain even the tiniest imp, though it might be hiding in a pimpernel. G K Chesterton, Orthodoxy chII: The Maniac
But the materialist’s world is quite simple and solid, just as the madman is quite sure he is sane. The materialist is sure that history has been simply and solely a chain of causation, just as the interesting person before mentioned is quite sure that he is simply and solely a chicken. Materialists and madmen never have doubts. G K Chesterton, The Essential Gilbert K Chesterton
The modern materialists are not permitted to doubt; they are forbidden to believe. G K Chesterton, Philosopher Without Portfolio
A strict materialist believes that everything depends on the motion of matter. He knows the form of the laws of motion though he does not know all their consequences when applied to systems of unknown complexity.
Now one thing in which the materialist (fortified with dynamical knowledge) believes is that if every motion great & small were accurately reversed, and the world left to itself again, everything would happen backwards the fresh water would collect out of the sea and run up the rivers and finally fly up to the clouds in drops which would extract heat from the air and evaporate and afterwards in condensing would shoot out rays of light to the sun and so on. Of course all living things would regrede from the grave to the cradle and we should have a memory of the future but not of the past.
The reason why we do not expect anything of this kind to take place at any time is our experience of irreversible processes, all of one kind, and this leads to the doctrine of a beginning and end instead of cyclical progression for ever. James Clerk Maxwell
I am a materialist. I don’t believe there is anything supernatural. But don’t think of that as a degeneration of the natural. Richard Dawkins
If materialism is true, it seems to me that we cannot know that it is true. If my opinions are the result of the chemical processes going on in my brain, they are determined by the laws of chemistry, not those of logic. J B S Haldane