A very good essay here. This is indeed what happens when we forget the “lifeworld.” The materialist can tell us all day long that there is no ultimate purpose or meaning to existence, that his or her love for their significant other is nothing more than neurons firing in the brain and the electro-chemical processing of “information,” but we know this same person goes home and kisses his/her significant other, eats dinner, laughs, listens to music, reads, and lives knowing their existence is so much more than their reductions (at the level of theory) to matter-in-motion.
Talk about cognitive dissonance. Talk about a philosophy and way of perceiving and interpreting the world that is utterly divorced from actually living in that world. We normally call that fantasy.
Imagine carrying around within ourselves (our minds, emotions, dreams, fears, hopes, loves) the very confirmations that destroy our theory or belief about how the world is supposed to be. You can’t get outside yourself. Tough spot that. But the materialist must constantly convince himself that things like free-will and all the things we mark out as making us human and distinctly different from animals or machines are illusory and subjective imaginings. In other words, all those things that make life wondrous, mysterious, and beautiful at the “human” level are false returns, ghosts, phantoms. But no one can or does live that way in those quiet moments of reflective solitude.
Or in those moments over quiet candle it dinners with the person they love as a full moon reflects off the water, music plays softly, and nothing need be said between the two. In those moments we are caught off-guard as it were, and we know we are alive and fully human and utterly different from animal or machine.
Imagine a worldview where the holder of that view must constantly convince himself that his most powerful moments of being fully alive and human are ultimately false and meaningless.