Essay by mlbrook1College, UndergraduateA+, November 2003

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The metaphysical view of reality that I support is from a monist position. Monism is

believing that everything in the universe is one kind or type. To be more specific, the view

within monism that I believe to be true is materialism. This is defined in our textbook The

Enduring Questions by Jerry H. Hill as a "belief that reality is composed exclusively of

matter and its patterns of organization." In other words, it is a view that everything that

actually exists is material, or physical. What it means to say something is material is that it

is extended in space. In an article titled "Philosophical Materialism," Richard C. Vitzthum

claims that "materialism has always inferred its theories from the best empirical evidence at

hand and has as a result always had its metascientific hypotheses scientifically confirmed

because the basic assumption of valid science has also always been that nature is governed

by coherent discoverable physical laws".

I honestly believe that everything is made up of a physical substance and that spiritual

substances don't exist. Paranormal or supernatural phenomena are either delusions or

reducible to physical forces. Some materialists, such as myself, are not necessarily atheists,

nor do they deny the reality of such things as love or justice, beauty or goodness. Thoughts

and wishes about something more than mere physical substances in the world can easily

influence an individual's life, but what we live by should be based on what theories can prove

the most facts, not which can carry the best hopes. And by that, I mean that there is

absolutely no way for dualists to prove that there are two kinds of "stuff" in the universe.

Granted, materialists have always had the difficult task of explaining how their materialism

can account for such psychological phenomena...