You should all read this article on the atheist philosopher Thomas Nagel, who has recently published a book Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False.
Because of this book, Nagel has been branded a heretic. And oh boy, is this a fascinating read, particularly for we theists who are crazy enough to think science isn’t from the devil or even, God forbid, that evolution is probably true.
Why? Because it shows that materialism is useful as applied to material stuff, but is incapable of proving whether everything is just material stuff. The latter, which is the theory of materialism, is a philosophical argument and pretty dodgy one at that.
But the article explains it better:
Materialism, then, is fine as far as it goes. It just doesn’t go as far as materialists want it to. It is a premise of science, not a finding. Scientists do their work by assuming that every phenomenon can be reduced to a material, mechanistic cause and by excluding any possibility of nonmaterial explanations. And the materialist assumption works really, really well—in detecting and quantifying things that have a material or mechanistic explanation. Materialism has allowed us to predict and control what happens in nature with astonishing success. The jaw-dropping edifice of modern science, from space probes to nanosurgery, is the result.
But the success has gone to the materialists’ heads. From a fruitful method, materialism becomes an axiom: If science can’t quantify something, it doesn’t exist, and so the subjective, unquantifiable, immaterial “manifest image” of our mental life is proved to be an illusion. […]
Applied beyond its own usefulness as a scientific methodology, materialism is, as Nagel suggests, self-evidently absurd. Mind and Cosmos can be read as an extended paraphrase of Orwell’s famous insult: “One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool.” Materialism can only be taken seriously as a philosophy through a heroic feat of cognitive dissonance; pretending, in our abstract, intellectual life, that values like truth and goodness have no objective content even as, in our private life, we try to learn what’s really true and behave in a way we know to be good.
Really, you should read the whole thing.
It’s longish but the end is particularly good because Nagel hypothesises why so many intellectuals are desperate for materialism to be true – because the alternative seems to be theism and as Nagel remarks, “fear of religion” is the intellectual tic of the intelligentsia.
Anything but God!