Scripture: 1 Corinthians 16.13-14
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.
Editor’s Note: Materialism today is more commonly used synonymously with Consumerism, but what Chesterton speaks of is a philosophy that denies the existence of anything other than matter.
Materialists assert that there is not only no such thing as a soul, but no such thing as a mind or emotions. To a Materialist thoughts and emotions are just an illusion caused by chemical reactions happening in your physical brain.
This type of thinking is still quite popular today and is posited by many popular celebrity scientists who believe that a creator God is a farfetched concept yet have stated that it is probable we all live in a computer simulation.
Reflection: The Materialist Cosmos :: Throwback Thursday
By G.K. Chesterton
If the cosmos of the materialist is the real cosmos, it is not much of a cosmos. The thing has shrunk. The deity is less divine than many men; and (according to Haeckel) the whole of life is something much more grey, narrow, and trivial than many separate aspects of it. The parts seem greater than the whole.
For we must remember that the materialist philosophy (whether true or not) is certainly much more limiting than any religion. In one sense, of course, all intelligent ideas are narrow. They cannot be broader than themselves.
A Christian is only restricted in the same sense that an atheist is restricted. He cannot think Christianity false and continue to be a Christian; and the atheist cannot think atheism false and continue to be an atheist.
But as it happens, there is a very special sense in which materialism has more restrictions than spiritualism. Mr. McCabe thinks me a slave because I am not allowed to believe in determinism. I think Mr. McCabe a slave because he is not allowed to believe in fairies.
But if we examine the two vetoes we shall see that his is really much more of a pure veto than mine. The Christian is quite free to believe that there is a considerable amount of settled order and inevitable development in the universe. But the materialist is not allowed to admit into his spotless machine the slightest speck of spiritualism or miracle.
Poor Mr. McCabe is not allowed to retain even the tiniest imp, though it might be hiding in a pimpernel.
The Christian admits that the universe is manifold and even miscellaneous, just as a sane man knows that he is complex. The sane man knows that he has a touch of the beast, a touch of the devil, a touch of the saint, a touch of the citizen. Nay, the really sane man knows that he has a touch of the madman.
But the materialist’s world is quite simple and solid, just as the madman is quite sure he is sane. The materialist is sure that history has been simply and solely a chain of causation, just as the interesting person before mentioned is quite sure that he is simply and solely a chicken. Materialists and madmen never have doubts.
Prayer: The Small Verse
My soul thirsts for the strong, living God and all that is within me cries out to him.
– Prayer from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle.