(this is not meant to be a modal argument)
(1) Materialism asserts that there is NO realm or aspect of existence that is beyond or apart form either physical matter or the energy that makes up matter. There is not spirit, no supernatural.
(2) Materialism grew out of the enlightenment. Since then the concept of materialism has changed. So many ideas have become part of modern thought, or are under consideration in scientific circles, ideas which a hundred years ago would have been considered magic or supernatural.
(3) Therefore, the paradigm has shifted away from the concept of materialism that underpinned modern atheist thought. It no longer makes sense to reject belief in God upon the grounds of materialism.
This is really not so much an argument for God as it is a proof of the possibility of God by removing conceptual barriers in the form of materialistic ideology. God belief is rationally waranted because without the old atheistic materialism as a world view assumption, God is major hypothesis reaming.
There are eight major areas that demonstrate these changes:
(1) Quantum Theory and ÂBig BangÂ cosmology (no need for causes)
(2) Medicine (healing)
(3) Empircal Miracles
(4) Consciousness (basic property of nature)
(5) Archetypes (universals)
(6) Near Death Experiences
(7) ESP research (the fact that its being done)
(8) Validity of Religious Experience (no longer assumed to be pathology).
Of course none of these types of dualism spoken of are actually returns to the old Platonic style dualism. They constitute a new notion of a "spiritual" dimension within the physical, or a "immanent dualism." But this concept is not removed from Christian theology, it is very similar to the notions of Paul Tillich's teacher Ernst Trolesche, who spoke of an "immanent transcendence." But the fact remains that it is a far cry form the old mechanistic materialism of the enlightenment. It demonstrates an openinig up of thought, a greater willingness to expand categoreis and a willingness to depart from the old enlightenment assumption that there is nothing but a mechanistic physical world. Some data from these studies also suggests that there are things beyond the physical realm
Not all of these areas contain aspects that are accepted by a scientific consensus today, but they are being researched by serious scientific credential holders. Quntum theory, the shift in medicine, are definately already or rapidly becoming consensus. Lurdes miracles are not consensus but are attested to by major medical resarchers, the best in Eruope. Major scientific researchers support property dualism and other non reductionist views on Consciousness. The Evidence on Archetypes comes from all techniques of pyschological analysis and Maslow is one of the major sociologists in the world, one of the greats.NDE is still controversial but is takne seriously by many scientific reserachers and has a moutin of data to back it up. ESP research is still lumped in with int foil hats but amazingly enough a lot of serious scientific thinkers are researching in a big way. PBS recently hiered a show about reserach at Prenston Univerity which backs up the findings. The Religious experience stuuf my not be known to sicence in general for people in psychologcial fields who study religion and psychology it is rock solid. This is vaild scientific resarch and fully accepted, to the extent that it started its own discipline.
Major scientific thinkers are questioning the materialist paradigm, dualistic assumptions are finding their way into modern scientific outlook.
This 'bigger' aspect can also be seen in Rosenberg's 'liberal naturalism' [CS:JCS:3.1.77]:
"The question of scientific objectivity becomes more compelling when one considers that doubts about the reductive paradigm are by no means new. William James (1890), Charles Sherrington (1951), Erwin Schrodinger (1944, 1958), Karl Popper and John Eccles (1977)--among others--have insisted that the reductive view is inadequate to describe reality. This is not a fringe group. They are among the most thoughtful and highly honored philosophers and scientists of the past century. How is it that their deeply held and vividly expressed views have been so widely ignored? Is it not that we need to see the world as better organized than the evidence suggests?
"Appropriately, the most ambitious chapter of this section is the final one by Willis Harman. Is the conceptual framework of science sufficiently broad to encompass the phenomenon of consciousness, he asks, or must it be somehow enlarged to fit the facts of mental reality? Attempting an answer, he considers the degree to which science can claim to be objective and to what extent it is influenced by the culture in which it is immersed. Those who disagree might pause to consider the religious perspective from which modern science has emerged.
"There is reason to suppose that the roots of our bias toward determinism lie deeper in our cultural history than many are accustomed to suppose. Indeed, it is possible that this bias may even predate modern scientific methods. In his analysis of thirteenth-century European philosophy, Henry Adams (1904) archly observed: "Saint Thomas did not allow the Deity the right to contradict himself, which is one of Man's chief pleasures." One wonders to what extent reductive science has merely replaced Thomas's God with the theory of everything."
Big Bang Cosmology
QM theory observes particals that seem to ÂpopÂ up out of nothing with no cause. Big Bang cosmology posits phenomena that seem to be pure magic, a universe poping out of a tiny mathematical point, no physics to explain any of it.
Physicists are now embroiled in integrating metaphysical notions into science and in atheists assume them as though they were fact. The self causing universe, something from nothing, multiple universes, all beyond the pale of scientific investigation, all assumed as totally proven facts by the materialists. *No Physics to explian something from nothing.
John Mather, NASA's principal investigator of the cosmic background radiation's spectral curve with the COBE satellite, stated:
"We have equations that describe the transformation of one thing into another, but we have no equations whatever for creating space and time. And the concept doesn't even make sense, in English. So I don't think we have words or concepts to even think about creating something from nothing. And I certainly don't know of any work that seriously would explain it when it can't even state the concept."[John Mather, interview with Fred Heeren on May 11, 1994, cited in his book Show Me God (1998), Wheeling, IL, Searchlight Publications, p. 119-120.]
That is describing the excepted theory, that the universe seems to pop up from nothing, yet physicists just accept it and assume that its possible even with no physics to explian it. That is a total paradigm shift. Clearly this is opposed to the original concepts upon which modern materialism was founded; cause and effect offers rationalistic explanation for everything and nothing can happen apart from the laws of physics.
*Multiverse is unscientific metaphysics.
Sten Odenwald, Gaddard, Nasa:
(page is no longer found, visited in 2000)
"yes there could be other universes out there, but they would be unobservable no matter how old our universe became...even infinitly old!! So, such universes have no meaning to science because there is no experiment we can perform to detect them."
John Barrow, professor of astronomy at the University of Sussex in England, states that the traditional Big Bang picture, with its initial singularity of infinite density "is, strictly speaking, . . . creation out of absolutely nothing."[ John Barrow, The Origin of the Universe (New York: Basic Books, 1994), p. 113.]
Tom Ulsman, cites Cambridge University Professor Neil Turok who says:
"The problem we have is that every particle in the universe originated in the singularity . . . That's unacceptable because there are no laws of physics that tell you how they came out of it" ("Give Peas a Chance,"Astronomy Magazine, September 1999, p. 38).
*There can be no physical cause in the standard model;The Singularity is beyond space/time.
Quentin Smith, a philosopher of science at the University of Western Michigan, says in Theism, Atheism and Big Bang Cosmology (1993): "It belongs analytically to the concept of the cosmological singularity that it is not the effect of prior physical events. The definition of a singularity entails that it is impossible to extend the space-time manifold beyond the singularity. This effectively rules out the idea that the singularity is the effect of some prior natural process."
The reaons Big Bang cosmology spells trouble for materialism is two fold:
(a) the seeming lack of cause and effect, the lack of physical laws to explain it.
(b) The natural realm of our space/time continuum is totally within the sigualrity (our space/time envolope) implying a "realm" of some kind beyond the natural realm.