Reply on Religion and Marxism: 2

Doyle Saylor djsaylor at
Mon Jan 1 17:42:15 MST 2001

Greetings Comrades, and Mervyn,
    Mervyn, it is still true as my first question asserts that ones
religious views have to be taken into the context of which side one is on.
Where one's religious views lead one to support the bourgeois then I would
want to know why.

    The second part has to do with why you can't decide between idealism,
and materialism.  And you regard them as sterile arguments.  Like many
people you resort to reference to quantum theory to argue about

And you ask me what I know about the physics of quantum mechanical events, I
helped produce a paper on one as of then unmeasured quarks and finding quark
annihilation events in the many cloud chamber images at the Stanford
accelerator using neural networks (Monte Carlo methods) to detect the
pattern of events,

see the dedication in Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories, University of
California, Physics Division, "Study of bb Production in e+e- Annihilation
at the square root of s=29 GeV with the Aid of Neural Networks".  Paper
presented by my good buddy, Dr. David Lambert.  November 1994.

I will reply to specifics in your short reply to me which I think are
relevant areas of discussion,

I do not agree
with you that the scientific point of view is somehow intrinsically
'materialist' - it is rather 'realist', carrying no committal as to
whether reality is ultimately 'ideal' or 'material'.

Science is of course by definition the "knowledge" of matter.  That is
standard.  What you are referring to is some sort of hair splitting in
philosophy about materialism and idealism.  Marx was quite clear in his
materialist views.  That is one reason why I find Marxism attractive.
Knowability or not knowability is not about idealism.  One could of course
be an idealist and do work upon the subject matter, I am thinking of Kurt
Godel, on the completeness of Mathematics.  And this could conceivably have
some bearing upon how to use mathematics to do physics research.

One way I definitely see advantages to my position over yours concerns your
remarks about dogmatism,

I think this whole
dispute is barren and unresolvable, and that crusading atheism is just
as dogmatic as a crusading theism. Dogmatism is always unscientific.

First of all my main question to you is about the word Dogmatism, what does
it mean?

Where you refer to atheism as "crusading" you depend upon some form of
defining things either in ignorance of the material nature of consciousness,
that is you don't really understand materially what a dogma is in terms of
how the brain works, or alternately to preserve your idealism need to assert
that atheism is a crusade in the same sense that religion is hence atheism
is dogmatism if it asserts itself.

Making an assertion about Dogmatism with regard to how consciousness works
requires having substantial critical understanding of neural networks.
Asserting kinds of rigidity to human like those theories of Paul Feyerabend
whose theses are listed by Paul Churchland in "The Engine of Reason, the
Seat of the Soul", MIT press, 1995.  Feyerabend believed thought arises in
some science as dogmatic aspects in a common social paradigm that was rigid.
Feyerabend influenced by the Positivist theories of Kuhn about the dominant
paradigm made statements about the limitations of knowing something in
science that could be thought of as dogma like processes in normal theory
model building.  Churchland endorses Feyerabend's theses in order to make
room for obvious diversities in human reasoning.

I think your remarks about the dogmatism of atheism or that dogmatism is
always unscientific is sadly typical of the conflation of materialism with
religion that resolving things might be of a useful endeavor.  Hopefully, if
you have more to say, you will make your arguments on a more substantive
Doyle Saylor

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