Wednesday, August 07, 2002

Philosophy has got Soul

A week or two ago there was a discussion between Mark at Minute Particulars and Rand Simberg over the legitimacy of cyronics (freezing humans in liquid nitrogen or some similarly chilly substance with the hope of reviving them in the future when cures for their ailments are available).

In the course of the discussion, Simberg stated that any discussion of the soul was religious in nature, and therefore not worth discussion. Mark's protestations that Aristotle discussed the soul from a strictly-philosophical perspective were to no avail; according to Simberg, anything which he can't see, touch, or in some similar way quantitatively analyze is religious in nature.

To be honest, I was surprised by these kinds of comments. I thought strict materialism was well on its way out the door, but alas... apparently not. At least not in some circles in the blogosphere. The following articles are helpful in a discussion of scientific materialism: particle physicist Stephen Barr's review essay The Atheism of the Gaps and Phillip Johnson's The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism. Check them out.

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