To get a clear picture of what materialism and idealism means, we can put a basic scenario in our everyday life, example the word "bed" we at once perceive a four legged structure with a mattress and beddings and through that perception, an image is created in our brain. But the question is if the things that caused the perception are real or not. Materialism would answer yes because not only can we perceive the existence of the object through our senses and grain but also through science and instruments which are worldly and separate from our minds. They claim the world consist of matter which undergoes constant change. Idealism would say No, because perception and awareness of the world entirely exist within our mind and can not be separated, hence nothing exists outside the mind. Idealist like Plato, Gottfried, George W., Argue that reality is somehow dependent upon the mind rather than independent of it. Materialism rejects the idea of absolute knowledge. Science can only improve knowledge but can not find ultimate or absolute truth. We gain knowledge by doing experiments, verify theories, explore the material world, but no knowledge can come from the world before exploring it.
RATIONALISM VS EMPIRICISM
Rationalism focuses on the natural essence of the situation, what is truly witnessed by our senses. Rationalists claim that there are significant ways in which our concepts and knowledge are gained independently of sense of experience. Empiricism on the other hand claims that sense experience is the ultimate source of all our concepts and knowledge. Rationalist Descartes claims that what we know a priori is certain, beyond even the slightest doubt, while what we believe, or even know on the basis of sense experience is at least somewhat uncertain. However Empiricist Locke, Berkeley and Home, reject the thesis of intuition/ deduction saying that knowledge is a posteriori dependent upon sense experience. Reason alone does not give us any knowledge neither does it give us superior knowledge. It can be argued that we can be rationalist in mathematics and empiricist in physical sciences. Dealing with one subject, empiricist and rationalist will always conflict.
CONTRASTING THEORIES ABOUT THE MEANING OF LIFE
There are two most common theories about life. There is the scientific theory where scientists believe that life evolved from simple organism that existed in the early earth to what it is today and still continues to evolve. Others claim that life began from outer space and then distributed among the planets example is Fred Hoyles. The other theory is bible based (Genesis 1), where there is a supreme being, God, who created the heavens and the earth (Descartes 114). The earth was without form, it was void, filled with darkness and the spirit of God move on the face of it. Life formed from His words, he spoke and it came to be. It is upon one's own belief on what life is and how it came to be. One may choose the scientific theory or the Biblical theory.
IS ABORTION EVER MORAL?
What is abortion? It is the termination of pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo resulting in or caused by its death. It can either be spontaneous or induced. Abortion can be termed as moral give the circumstance or the cause of it. If it occurs because of complication so as to save the health of gravid (pregnant female) then it is viable. In a case where there is a miscarriage and the foetus has to be removed, then that also justifies the cause (Kenny 208). It can also be justified in case of rape of a young girl, who by all means can not carry the pregnancy to term due to undeveloped uterus, then in such a case, it should be allowed.
IS EUTHANASIA EVER MORAL?
Euthanasia is the act or practice of painlessly ending the life of someone suffering from an incurable illness. To measure the moral of something depends on ones beliefs and what is termed as acceptable to the society. Taking life of someone to remove them out of their misery is entirely on the people involved it is moral if the person gave the go ahead (Locke 212). God is the taker of life and it can be argued that when doctors try to preserve life of someone who is dying by putting machine to keep the hearts beating while in the real sense, the person would die, then they should let nature take its cause since it would happen anyway. It is the feeling of guilt that is created within us that we try our best to keep our loved ones alive but in the reality is, it is beyond us. In this regard it is proper to appreciate that man cannot make artificial life to last.
FREEDOM VS DETERMINISM
Freedom is being having power to exercise choice and make decisions without constraint from within or without while determinism is occurrence in nature that take place in accordance with natural laws. Freedom one can do what they want but can not go against nature. Example, one is free to fly, but nature does not allow one to, because we do not have what it takes to fly wings (Leinbiz 146). Imagine if we could all do everything that another can do? There would be chaos that is why nature wanted us to depend on each other.