Thursday, May 16, 2024

On Medium: What if the Universe is All in God’s Head?

Here's an article that tests the merits of naturalism and metaphysical idealism, asking whether matter is real or whether only minds and their contents exist.


  1. I see idealism as more of a meta-paradigm (if that's the right term). It's a broad metaphysical position that other paradigms like theism can fit within, but in itself it isn't meant to explain anything. Much like its antithesis, materialism, idealism is not subject to proof or disproof and so it has no explanatory power. It's interesting to think about, though.

    1. I agree that naturalism and metaphysical idealism are very broad, but there's still the question of appealing to the best explanation, by way of assessing these worldviews. As I say in the article, we put up or shut up. Why should anyone adopt the spiritual worldview of metaphysical idealism? This worldview would have to offer some benefits, and these would have to outweigh those of naturalism or materialism.

    2. For me, the appeal of idealism is that it's a paradigm that is self-contained and capable of containing everything else. Most idealists seem to be rigid rationalists and yet empiricism, if taken far enough, will lead us there just as surely (which, I think, was Berkley's whole point). You can subsume materialism into idealism since 'matter' and all of its proposed properties are really just ideas; and yet I don't see how the reciprical could be done. Idealism is is not so much practical as it is unavoidable.

      This conversation reminds me of another essay you wrote on Nagarjuna's anti-idealist metaphysics; but I can't find any trace of it when I use google to search your site. Did you remove it or did I just dream it up?

    3. The one on Nagarjuna is called "From Buddhist Serenity to Existential Horror," and it's here: