Does intelligent design theory oppose atheism as such?
|February 23, 2014||Posted by News under Atheism, Intelligent Design, News|
Philosophy begins when a man chooses to take seriously the fact that he is not a pig.
The pig does not learn that he is a pig, he just is one and it works, end of story.
The man learns that he is a man. He can make whatever he wants of being a man, but he cannot be a pig, even if he would prefer it.
Almost everything Darwin’s latter day followers despise about ID actually arises after that discovery but before we even consider religion. We might say that the man has discovered that he is not wholly a natural (material) phenomenon. He knows his discovery is correct because if he were a wholly natural phenomenon, he would not have discovered the fact. Even if everything else is a wholly natural phenomenon (i.e., nature is all there is), he and his fellows are not.
There is, however, one other possibility: He (and they) evolved in such a way as to undergo the illusions of consciousness, morality, free will, self, etc, because these illusions help spread selfish genes. The illusions do not necessarily correspond to anything else in nature.
All the issues around the origin and development of life, humans, consciousness, and free will, and most of the issues around the multiverse will proceed roughly the same if you believe any widely accepted non-naturalist account of origins and differently if you believe the naturalist (Darwinian) one in the paragraph above
For example, if you believe the naturalist account, you will interpret the Big Bang and fine-tuning by postulating infinitely many never-observed universes that flopped (and ours was an accidental survivor). That will be science for you. How do we know an infinity of flopped universes exists? Because that is the only naturalist explanation of our own universe looking designed and only a naturalist explanation – however absurd – can be accepted.
To the non-naturalist, it looks like nonsense, spouted to avoid drawing an obvious conclusion. But that is because the non-naturalist does not think that nature is all there is. He is prepared to accept design as real, at least in principle, and meaning and purpose as possible. From there, paths diverge. If you picture the mental geography as a forked road, the non-naturalist fork in the road (the left one, for pictorial convenience) breaks up shortly afterward into many smaller roads. But they are all roads branching out from the non-naturalist fork, not the naturalist one on the right.
All naturalist accounts explain away the mind because they must. The naturalist is forced to adopt ridiculous explanations, as long as they are naturalist (for example, the proposal that consciousness might be ”perceptronium,” a hypothetical state of matter).
All non-naturalist accounts, by contrast, reject modern naturalism as incoherent. That is to say, they reject any account beginning with “Your brain evolved so as to be unable to accept what I am about to tell you.”
At minimum, the non-naturalist believes that getting the right handle on questions is what the brain evolved to do. And the most likely reason for not believing in the selfish gene or perceptronium is that they are nonsense concepts that do not assist with the matters in hand.
Non-naturalists do not attempt to explain away the mind even if they are atheists. As David Snoke notes, in his review of Thomas Nagel’s Mind & Cosmos, naturalist accounts of the mind are the focus of Nagel’s dissent from Darwin. Other atheists, along with theists and pantheists, reach their tolerance limit over other issues, usually an issue where we are commanded to believe a woefully inadequate naturalist dictum.
If you choose the non-naturalist fork, you will end up having to follow one of the branches. But all those branches are off a road that leads in a different direction from the naturalist one.
So non-materialist atheists are not a problem for the ID community as such. The community is united mainly by the fact that we all live along the same fork of the road, so we are affected by the same neighbourhood issues. While we may differ on the answers to some questions, there are solutions we simply won’t accept because there would be no point living here if we did. Most of the atheists we find ourselves in conflict with live on the other, naturalist branch of the road. – O’Leary for News
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