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I have coined the word saganism to indicate a broad family of philosophies of science that are antithetical to the Catholic vision of reality. I use the term very loosely; the specific meaning of my use must be determined by the context of the remark I am making.

The general features of a saganist philosophy of science are:

  • materialism
  • empiricism
  • scientism
  • atheism
  • naturalism


"There is no reality other than matter: no God, no angels, no demons, no saints, no souls in Hell, no life after life. We are nothing but complex forms of matter. All of the functions of our minds, including our sense of self, are byproducts of self-organized matter. Because the world is nothing but a physical reality, there is no purpose or meaning in anything that happens. It just happens. We are all flukes of the universe. No divinity intended our existence or knows that we exist. We just exist. At death, our bodies will return to the dust from which they came, and that will be the end of us."


"The only way to know things is to observe them directly through the five senses or through scientific instruments which extend our senses. Philosophical speculation is bunk. What matters is matter, and any thought that cannot be tested under controlled laboratory conditions or by objectively repeatable observations is nothing but a contemptible act of faith."


Advocates of scientism believe that the methods of science should be used to answer all questions about the existence of God, the difference between good and evil, and the meaning of life.