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reductive materialism

Sunday 13 November 2005

The view that only the material world (matter) is truly real, and that all processes and realities observed in the universe can be explained by reducing them down to their most basic scientific components, e.g., atoms, molecules, and everything else thought to make up what we know as "matter."

For example, a reductive materialist would view the miraculous and unexpected healing of a supposedly terminal cancer patient as a random coincidence of solely biological and physiological processes in the person’s body.

While, on the other hand, some might view the healing as stemming from factors contributing to the biological factors, e.g., prayer or meditation.