Recently, in relation to a blog entry on Why I evaluate claims of rationality, a commenter asked whether a “purely materialist worldview” necessarily leads to a “cold harsh rationality” that ends up producing, for example, the elimination of human beings that I referred to. I answered no, it doesn’t necessarily lead there, but it is consistent with it. I then added that materialists often import parts of a supernaturalist rationality without proper justification in order to keep from heading down the path of cold, harsh rationality.
I came across this passage by Brian Brock in his book Christian Ethics in a Technological Age:
“Western philosophical discourses exist within an intellectual context deeply shaped by Christian thought and practice, though since the nineteenth century liberal political thought has obscured or forgotten how Western philosophy emerged from a culture dominated for centuries by a broadly Augustinian cosmology. While some branches of contemporary philosophy have descended into a morally sterile scholasticism… it remains fruitful to read those modern philosophers still concerned with the most central of human questions as treating properly theological material. Though they give no place in their accounts to a divine actor, and so are properly called secular thinkers, in each case, I will argue, the profundity of their deepest impulses and arguments is funded by explicitly theological rationality.” (emphasis added)
I happen to agree with Brock. What do you think? To what extent, if at all, do materialists depend on an unacknowledged theological rationality?