Again, you can’t prove cause. You can only associate one thing with the other. If there is even one single case where the usual cause/effect relationship is not seen, then it is destroyed. And I believe there are many such cases. For example, around 600 B.C., the prophet Daniel and his friends were reported to be thrown into a fiery furnace. Fire causes people to be burned, right? Yet they were not burned, nor was there even the smell of smoke on their clothing. Yes, I believe this, and it certainly cannot be disproven because there is no logical reason to assert its impossibility. Just because I’ve never seen it with my eyes doesn’t make it impossible. And this brings down all of materialism. Advil has no ability or power in itself to cause anything. It doesn’t follow necessarily (strict rules of logic) that because I swallowed a pill, and I feel better, the pill caused it. You can’t prove cause.
In defense of experience: Materialism is a theory that asserts the existence of an independently existing substance called matter which exists independently of our perception of it. You referred to the “environment.” But what is the environment, and how can you talk of it except in terms of your own experience. If it existed outside of all minds, what would it be? The only way anyone can talk about anything is through their experience of it. You say that it has an existence apart from perception. What does? That which you see, touch, taste, smell, and hear? What is its essence then? Some vague idea called “matter,” right? Yet neither you nor anyone else can say they have any clear idea of what matter is. All of it is reducible to sensation and therefore can only exist in the mind, just as pain and pleasure cannot exist but in a mind. I challenge you to tell me what the “environment” is in itself apart from being perceived by any being whatsoever.
To me, the experience of the environment is a rational one, because of the knowledge inherent in me from the day I was born. The objects in the environment serve as “object lessons” to elucidate truth. Christ used these object lessons all the time. That is what the material world is for. It is didactic. How else can it be explained that our a priori rational framework actually corresponds to what we find in the physical world?
So, why talk of “links” to our perceptions? We experience and perceive all things immediately—i.e., without mediation by some imaginary material faculty, it’s not required. The dream argument serves well to illustrate this, for we can have all the same sensations and feelings in a dream as in waking life, yet it’s not ‘real!’ I think of the material world as God’s dream. We are his thoughts. “In Him we live, and move, and have our being.” This makes sense to me. The theory that it’s all an accident and everything is marching to the beat of inert “matter” is just a religious idea. It can’t be proved at all. It takes faith to believe something like that.
I agree that ideas have gravity only if you believe them too. It would be God’s prerogative to impress Himself upon someone and I assume He does that to everyone. Otherwise He cannot hold anyone responsible for anything. I don’t know what’s going on inside of anyone else, only myself. I cannot prove you wrong that the invisible unicorn follows you around. If you believe it, I leave you to your beliefs. It makes no difference to me. But if we were to discuss it, what does this unicorn follow you around for? Is there a purpose that the unicorn has in watching you? Is the unicorn male or female? Does it talk to you, ask you to do anything? These would be important questions to ask of someone making these claims. If it just follows you around, how do you feel about it? Are you afraid of it, or do you love it? There is much to be known about this unicorn.
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