Materialism – It’s All, For All

Materialism is that process of thought and action which upholds that everything in the universe, including all what is attributed to mind, including even the so-called miracles, is either the product of matter or is dependent on matter. Materialism rejects  beliefs of soul, spirit, supernatural powers and extra-sensory experiences of the so-called sixth sense:

Materialism as a system of philosophical thoughts developed during the early part of the Seventeenth Century. End of the sixteenth Century paved the way for the emergence of science and technology: That lead light rays to penetrate into the darkness of subjective imaginations of the human mind.

Science and scientific quest for unraveling the unknown mysteries of Universe became tools at the hands of sections among the science-savvy pursuers of the yore. Among them were the thinkers like Galileo, Bacon, Descartes and others of the ilk. They expounded the basics of materialism through the route of rationalism. It was a path breaking trend; materialism so developed was a revolution in itself in the field of natural science, social science, means of production, discoveries and inventions. Dialectical Materialism as expounded by Karl Marx forms a part of Materialism which is directed at social science, means of production, discoveries and inventions.

The Universe originated as a result of a Big Bang that took place some fifteen billion years ago. The theory is widely accepted by the scientific community as well as the general public who refuse to accept the Creationist-belief that universe was created by the Almighty God. Big Bang was the explosion of an unimaginably tiny but dense and hot piece of object; the explosion disbursed matter in the form of galaxies, stars, planets, black holes and countless other particles in Space. Evolution that followed the Big Bang saw the emergence of innumerable species including the Homo sapiens in the form of humans placed at the top of the ladder. The Big Bang was a terrific phenomenon based on matter; all the species which came into existence are the products of matter. There are nothing in space other than matter and phenomena attributable to matter. The tenets of materialism are therefore firm and irrevocable.

Beliefs are imaginations of human brain: Materialism could unravel the falsity of soul, spirit, supernatural powers and extra-sensory experiences. Materialism established that there is no soul or spirit that sustains life; materialism detected that ‘power’ in whatever way it pervades the Universe is natural and that therefore there is no supernatural power anywhere in the universe; materialism proved that there is no extra sense in human brain other than the existing five senses and without the presence of the existing senses, there could be no extra-sensory experiences of the sixth sense ever possible.

Materialists are supposed to accept and adhere to the principles of materialism. However, some people who pretend themselves as materialists argue that matter is primary thing having physical properties like size, shape, color, magnetic charge and location: As per their views, there are things which do not have these attributes of matter and therefore everything in the universe cannot be taken for granted as matter. The so-called materialists do not appear to understand what matter is? According to science, matter is something which occupies space, which exists in space. The existence does not need size, shape, color, charge or specific location. The arguers, for sure, stand aloof outside materialism; at best such materialists are fence-sitters like skeptics.

There are also critiques who direct their finger at ‘mind’ saying that mind is not matter and therefore materialism does not apply to mind. Their arguments are baseless for, mind is property of matter; phenomena of mind depend on matter; without matter the phenomena are nothing. The entire thought processes of mind including what is termed as consciousness is product of matter, is dependent on matter:

Humans are the inhabitants of planet Earth in the Universe. Earth is matter and the inhabitants of the Earth comprising humans are the product of matter. Humans are made up of matter; human brain is a part of human body and hence brain which houses the nervous system comprising countless nerve cells is also matter. Feelings and emotions are felt as a result of excitation of the nerve cells. Excitation takes place when stimuli from the environs react with the nerve cells. The stimuli from environs reach central nervous system through various nerve connections in the sensory centers that represent vision, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching. These sensory nerve centers are there in the body at the time of birth. The mental activity that enables cardiac pulsations, blood circulation, breathing and ingestion are ingrained in the nervous system at the time of birth and are made possible through permanent nerve connections controlled by unconditioned reflex actions. The mental activity governed by unconditioned reflex action keeps the organism to meet basic subsistence needs of the body. These bare needs are supplemented by countless nerve connections which are formed after the organism is born. Such after-born nerve connections are activated and controlled by conditioned reflex actions.

Human mind represents the combination of both the unconditioned and conditioned reflex actions that take place in the central nervous system. The organism survives in the environment; the organism grows and fulfils its biological calls through the nervous actions which are guided, controlled and executed by the unconditioned and the conditioned reflex actions. These then are supported and supplemented by inherent biochemical formulations of congenital origin. The entire process taken together is what constitutes ‘Mind’. Mind is phenomena generated by matter. Mind cannot and does not stand outside materialism. Mind has nothing to do with spirit world developed in the imagery of ignorant philosophers.

Matter is the only reality in the Universe: Materialism is all that is of reality: Everything including thoughts and actions is of reality; everything relating to cognition is of reality: Materialism covers everything which is of reality. Even for physical wellness and worldly-possessions which humans value the most, materialism is the pathway for fulfillment.

Humanism – A Magic Wand

Humanism is defined as a system of thoughts in which human interests and human values are taken to be of primary importance: The definition reveals that humanism is not an individual human posture because humanism ought to have to be a system. System stands for a group or combination of people forming a unified whole. In that context a person who nurtures human interests and human values and who being a part of the group is bound to be a humanist but the individual cannot itself constitute humanism.

Ancient and modern thinkers had expounded so many explanations for humanism. One of the explanations is that humanism is a branch of philosophical thought. The philosophical thought is based on the concept that humanism is a world view covering a system of beliefs. The main concerns of the beliefs are centered on values, needs, nature and abilities of human beings. Another view which is the latest in the row and which has no takers, is that humanism pertains to a particular branch of psychology directed at the study of human nature and human values. However, many a think tank of the present, takes it for granted that humanism has only two branches, one based on beliefs and the other which belongs to secularism. The theory of psychology lacks credence and it tarnishes the image of humanism.

According to the proponents of the psychological theory, human behaviour is linked to the inner feelings of the mankind. On the basis of that concept, during the latter part of the last century (1970s and 1980s), a set of psychologists came forward with procedures for psycho-analytical studies of humanism. Psychologists of humanism, rather humanistic psychologists, are of firm opinion that in psycho analysis, objective reality is less important than subjective perceptions. They therefore reject scientific methods bracing experiments and researches where their psycho-therapy is concerned.

Humanism based on beliefs aims at understanding human nature, human values and perspectives through supernatural and transcendental domains.  These domains are more important for believers even if they amount to denial of human needs and values here and now for the sake of life after death.

Secular humanism is the most sought after philosophy especially by the self acclaimed intellectuals of the modern age. The track of secular humanism is manifold:  For the intellectuals, secular humanism is the only viable solution to develop knowledge of the living world as opposed to dehumanization tendencies of the belief system; human values, human nature and human experiences can be studied and understood through rationality of materialism and therefore humanism necessarily is atheistic; in fact humanism is the most important principle of Rationalism and Atheism; – thus goes their interpretations.

Humanism means many things according to the fancies of the beholders. The first and foremost among the fancies is that god created the humans in his own image and that therefore humanism embraces the system of beliefs in the supernatural. According to rational beholders, humanism is a system which does not believe in gods and deities or the system does not care for gods and deities. For them, excellent human behaviour is possible by following the path of reason. They propose that humans created thousands of gods, goddesses in their own shapes where the question of supernatural do not arise at all. The pursuers of the latter system confide that they are concerned about human rights and equal opportunities for all; that they are liberal in matters of abortion, gay rights, lesbianism, transgender, same sex marriage, assisted suicides and separation of church from state matters.

On generalization of all what are attributed to humanism, it is possible to conclude that humanism belongs to three major groups. The first one is Philosophical Humanism which came into existence by the end of the middle ages. The second group is Religious Humanism which is based on religions and religious beliefs.  The third and the most popular humanism is the non-religious philosophy which promotes humanity through secular practices.

The explanations about humanism as briefed herein above give credence to the conclusion that humanism has no specific ideology, no specific line of thoughts and no line of action. Even on taking it as a branch of philosophy, humanism lacks specific system of beliefs embracing any set of doctrines.  The term ‘humanism’ therefore remains as a magic wand in the hands of fence-sitters of the intellectual cauldron to induce illusions and to get applause of the innocent human beings, the world over.