This is not to say that such people think that it is such a strong position that there’s little point in repeating the arguments in its favor. Rather, it is to say that there are many who seem to think that, whereas other positions need to give us some reason to believe them, materialism represents some kind of “default” philosophy that can be accepted without a reason.
Of course, it is very hard for me to see why any position should claim this kind of status. Surely, those who seek to persuade others of it should be ready with an argument for it.
At the very least, might we give people some reason why this, and not agnosticism, represents a sort of base view?
And this is most of my difficulty in discussing philosophical issues with materialists. They seem to think I believe all the things they do, then add a few extras to that. Not only is this a warped view of my own position, it leaves many of them without any appreciation for what it takes to present a defense for a view–as most of them have never even attempted to do so.
In fact, I don’t know of any argument in favor of materialism that doesn’t reduce to something like asserting the verification principle (the idea that we should accept only those parts of reality that we can “verify” with our senses).
But this is no argument, it is simply a restatement of materialism. It gives us no reason to believe it. And, if you read on philosophy, you’ll already know that the verification principle utterly failed once it was pointed out that it’s self-defeating (it can’t itself be verified by the senses).
That being the case, I honestly don’t understand the confidence so many have in materialism, except in terms of zeitgeist and other pathos effects. I really don’t see any reason at all to believe it.
So, setting aside (for the moment) the reasons why many reject materialism, is there any reason at all to think it is true?