Many say they believe in the world of the spirit, but with many of them this is mere words, nothing but hot air. In their innermost hearts, in their feelings and unconscious impulses, lives something different — the inclination to think materialistically. However much people may pretend to themselves that they believe in something else, in reality they believe only in the physical world. And since they do not believe in anything more than just the physical world around them, the only ideal they can possibly have is to arrange things in the physical world in such a way that it becomes a paradise; otherwise the whole world would make no sense to them. Until materialists are prepared to say that the world makes no sense at all, they can only live in the illusion that, however imperfect this physical world may be, it will be possible to create conditions that will put an end to imperfection and let perfection take its place.
Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 177 – Fall of the Spirits of Darkness : Lecture 3: The Search for a Perfect World – Dornach, 1 October 1917
Translated by Anna R. Meuss