Way back in the depths of time, Greek philosophers ended up with two basic and incompatible ways of looking at the universe. One way was materialism, which says that there is a material universe which behaves in a consistent way, and if you study it you can learn the way it works.
That’s the world view of engineers and scientists — and businessmen, for that matter. It’s the world view of people who understand and use mathematics, and statistics. It is a place where cause leads to effect. It’s the place that game theory studies. It isn’t necessarily inherently atheistic; a lot of religious people live in the materialist world.
But there are people who don’t. A different epistemological view is teleology, which says that the universe is an ideal place. More or less, it exists so that we humans can live in it. And human thought is a fundamental force in the universe. Teleology says that if a mental model is esthetically pleasing then it must be true. Teleology implies that if you truly believe in something, it’ll happen.
As I have said before (and here, here, and here) our opponents have a “currency” which is emotionally based. I find the dealings in this currency perplexing and frequently repugnant. But what is scary to me is the number of people that advocate this currency, deal in this currency, and hold great political power.—Joe]