Philosophical Vision: Idealism vs. Materialism

Materialism is defined as, “a belief that only matter and its physical properties are real, while mind, thoughts and the like are simply manifestations of matter”. With that kind of definition, it would seem simple to be directed towards the materialist world, but nothing is just that simple in life. Everything falls in with each other on a complex level. 

Idealism is even more-so a complicated topic for reality. If it wasn’t for the mind, not the brain, where would our matter or materials come from in a materialist’s reality? Better yet, how does one just learn or discover new things in life or how to name it a specific name? Even though we can’t seem to perceive the unknown with our eyes, how come it is present in our hearts through any emotion that maybe present at the time?

Materials are things that you can use your five senses on, whether it’s touching, seeing, tasting, smelling and/or hearing. So does that mean a song is material? Even though we can hear a song, can we see it? In a music video, we see the idea of the song. On a piece of paper, we see music notes and the words to the song, but where did these “materials” come from? It didn’t come from an atom or a neuron. It isn’t part of any of the scientific method of reality, even though parts of music seem to be materials. Overall, it’s a bunch of ideas and words coming together as one to make beautiful or horrendous sounds.

Not only is emotion a trick to the mind, but how about some other factors you can perceive through your mind like color, figure, motion, taste, and smell? These senses can easily be a trick to the mind as well. Let’s explain the example of color. Has anyone every seen a color with such mass?

In order for anything to be real, we need to experience it through the five senses, as agreed upon both idealism and materialism. However, materialists say the five senses are the main purpose that God can’t exist, because we can’t see, taste, touch, smell, or hear him. If you can, well then, you must be hallucinating, because bottom line, God isn’t in existence. The fact that no one can really provide proof of God’s existence is an exit point to any argument holding God or an Eternal Spirit in anyone’s argument.

For example, Berkeley’s argument as he quotes, …”that consequently as long as they are not perceived by me or do not exist in the mind or that of another created spirit, they must not have any existence at all, or else subsist in the mind of some Eternal Spirit.” He needs God in his theory, but yet, no on is able to prove he exists. Therefore, the idea is that materialists would have an upper hand.

Key word is idea in the last paragraph. Even though materialism is one of the ancient beliefs and philosophies in history today, where did materialism come from? Nothing is presented in reality, until an idea of the matter has formed in the mind. Let’s think of inventions or creations of your favorite foods or favorite clothes. Those materials didn’t just pop up out of nowhere. Someone had to have come up of the idea to make spaghetti, to make jean pants, etc. unless someone invented them by accident. However, how did they invent them by accident? The inventors must have had been thinking of something else to invent at the time.

Another sense that we really haven’t gathered on yet in Philosophy is the sixth sense. So what is it? It’s a sense, but is it a sense through the mind or the body? Why can only a few people experience the sixth sense in this world i.e. ghost hunters, mediums, psychics, ect? Are they hallucinating or is just a gift from the Eternal Spirit? Is this His way of saying? “Hey, the big man is in the building and is watching.”

The conclusion, Berkeley’s argument makes a lot of sense to the great question, “What is real?” There is more out there than what the eye perceives or what our minds are limited to comprehend and the reason we haven’t seen the truth is because humans are not ready for it. I question materialists and their idea of reality. Oh, there’s that word again. Idea! There is no doubt that we do have science and there is no doubt in my mind that we still have a ton of realities and truths in the unknown. The debate between materialists and idealists seem endless and maybe it will always be until the end of time or when the unknowns are ready to come out to the truths and stop hiding. I will remain with an open mind that anything is possible.

Work Cited
        Berkeley, George. A Treatise Concerning The Principles of Human Knowledge. Dublin: David R. Wilkins. 2002. Print.

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