Materialism = The Deification of Matter

Herman Bavinck on how the philosophy of materialism denies the existence of God, but ends up deifying matter:

Natural science, to which the materialist always makes his appeal, has to do as such with the finite, the relative, with nature and its phenomena; it always starts out from nature, assumes it as a given, and cannot penetrate to what lies behind it. The moment it does this it ceases to be physics and becomes metaphysics. But materialism is not true to itself when it immediately ascribes to atoms all sorts of properties that are not part of the concept itself and are not taught by experience. Materialism, accordingly, is not an exact science, nor the fruit of rigorous scientific research, but a philosophy that is built up on the denial of all philosophy; it is inherently self-contradictory; it rejects all absolutes and makes atoms absolute; it denies God’s existence and deifies matter. (In The Beginning, p.32, emphasis mine)

So when science attempts to speak to what lies behind what is (i.e. the theory of origins), it then ceases to be science (i.e. physics) at all, but instead becomes (or rather intrudes upon the arena of) metaphysics.

Not only that, but Bavinck points out that such a philosophy is “self-contradictory” because in denying the existence of God it actually ends up substituting matter in His place as god.

It calls to mind the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 1:25,

because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

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