[asa] Dualism, materialism, & a third way

From: FredHeeren <fred@day-star.org>
Date: Mon Jun 01 2009 - 15:08:28 EDT

Iıve been away and switched computers since there was a discussion of
dualism here at the end of April. So I donıt know if I missed any more
discussion on this or on Tedıs article on Arthur Compton in Juneıs
Perspectives, but I wanted to draw attention to how helpful Comptonıs views
appear to be on the subject (at least to me).
Ted mentions how Compton ³felt Œcompelled to give up both materialism and
dualism,ı turning instead to personal idealism, Œthe doctrine that mind is
the fundamental reality, and that the objective world is a mere product of
the activity of the Supreme Mind or Spirit, God.ı²
This is just part 1 of Tedıs three parts, so Iım anxious to see if Compton
develops this further. In part 1, Ted/Compton also states ³Just as we cannot
conceive Œof a thought or volition which exists apart from mental activity,ı
so Œwe may think of the physical world as being both produced and maintained
by Godıs mental actionŠ. the difficulties confronting us on the dualistic
system with regard to evolution now disappear, for since the development of
the world is continually subject to the will of God, the introduction of
life and consciousness are no longer mysterious.²
And regarding immortality: ³If Œwe think of it as the final product of the
evolution of Godıs world,ı and keeping in mind that Œthe existence of
everything depends only upon Godıs continued care,ı then immortality seems
Œmore than probable.ı²
I like the way this line of thinking begins to provide a framework for
understanding Godıs continuous, creative and sustaining role through our
worldıs formative history. Nature itself seems to raise problems with
strict dualism, while also raising problems (through quantum mechanics, for
one) for strict materialism. I like the way Compton expresses his third

Iım wondering, though, if the term ³personal idealism² is the right term for
it. Doesnıt that term normally suggest that there is no absolute, single
mind behind the world? More important, does anyone else find Comptonıs
views (about the world as a mere product of the Supreme Mind) as helpful as
I do in the dualism/materialism debate?
Fred Heeren

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Received on Mon Jun 1 15:08:56 2009

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