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Clueless Mockery at PT

I don’t say much around here these days. In fact, I’ll be honest with you; the hard science which resides at the core of the debate over whether or not naturalistic mechanisms could have generated biological novelty or whatever else doesn’t especially interest me, so I pretty much leave it to others. Nor do I make it my mission to duke it out with anyone and everyone who opposes some position I hold with respect to ID. My time is just too precious, and many people won’t change their minds no matter what you tell them. But occasionally I come across statements just too flagrantly moronic to let them slide. Such is the case with this cheap shot a “guest contributor” at The Panda’s Thumb takes at something Dr. Egnor says (Egnor’s statement provided within the quote):

Indeed, just as our prank went online, Michael Egnor himself out-pranked us with a real post containing this philosophy gem:

“Materialism is nonsense, because if matter and energy are all that exist, then truth doesn’t exist (it’s neither matter nor energy). If truth doesn’t exist, then materialism can’t be true.”

Dude, that’s like, so deep.—Seriously, how can you beat these guys?

Though I would have worded it differently, there’s not really anything wrong with what Egnor says. For there to be a truth, there must be a proposition whose content is true or has the property of being true. Propositions are intentional entities; they have a content which is intrinsically and essentially (non-derivatively) about their object, and it is this content which can have the property of being true. So in order for the materialist to claim that truth exists, she must claim that propositional content which can have the property of being true is material, but how in the world can there be a material state be intrinsically about an object, and how can a material state possibly have the property of being true? Intrinsic, non-derivative content here is key, and it is just nonsensical to think of a material state which is about another material state in virtue of its truth, its falsity, or anything else.

Sentence structures such as what you’re reading right now are only meaningless, physical material states which derive their intentionality from the original intentional states of minds. What the materialist must do if she is to salvage truth is show how there can possibly be a material state which contains an essential content that can have the property of being true. With all due respect to my materialist friends, this is a tall order, and the dualist should be excused if he thinks that will likely never be done. Egnor’s statement is not stupid; in fact, it’s quite far removed from it.

Dude! With hotshot philosophers like this, ID is doomed fer sure! :roll:

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11 Responses to Clueless Mockery at PT

  1. I remember listening to an interview with Dawkins (forgive me, I don’t remember when or where) in which he stated “I am not interested in free agency.” It was the very thing he was being asked to explain, in light of his naturalistic views.

    A simple wave of the hand, and the proclamation “It does not interest me,” and the argument was dispatched. No need to explain why it isn’t relevant to the discussion, it is deemed uninteresting.

    I think the same applies here to the concept of truth. Materialists simply aren’t interested in it. Never mind truth, agency, the origin of information; they simply aren’t “interesting.”

  2. “…but how in the world can there be a material state be intrinsically about an object, and how can a material state possibly have the property of being true?” -GilDodgen

    Personally, as I’ve indicated elsewhere, I don’t think the materialist vs. nonmaterialist divide is especially meaningful these days. When people advocate “materialism,” I think what they are really advocating is “empiricism.”
    But just for the sake of argument, would a map not be considered a state of material that is, in essence, *about* another separate state of material (i.e. the mapped region)? Can maps not be accurate vs. inaccurate and therefore true or false?

  3. Actually it was I, Crandaddy, who wrote this–just an FYI.

    But just for the sake of argument, would a map not be considered a state of material that is, in essence, *about* another separate state of material (i.e. the mapped region)? Can maps not be accurate vs. inaccurate and therefore true or false?

    No, not in essence. This is why I stressed the distinction between ‘derived’ and essential, intrinsic, or ‘original’ intentionality. Maps cannot be essentially about anything; their intentionality is derived. Only intentional mental states can have an essential aboutness.

  4. sorry for the attribution slip-up

    “Only intentional mental states can have an essential aboutness.” –CRANDADDY

    I understand the argument based on the derivation of intention, but this ultimately rests on the notion of a special quality of the human mind that initiates this chain of intention. Yet are mental states definitively nonmaterial? Because if there remains the possibility that they are, in some way, material, then it would seem that physical states *could* be about other physical states. Namely, it remains possible that brain states are about world states, etc.

    It has been some time since I read up on philosophy of mind so I’m not certain what theories are in vogue these days.

  5. Fundamental truths, or first truths, are one of the many things materialists are unable to fathom.

    Not surprising that some poor inane drone among the numerous poor inane drones over at TPT tries to ridicule the concept.

    Darwinist/atheist thinking cripples the mind. The mind becomes immune to basic logic since it has rejected absolutes and thus necessarily some base logic.

    Many obviously ludicrous statements are made by them as a result. For example, the foolish professor that recently stated that if there is an Intelligent Designer then “you’re car wouldn’t start” (see it at youtube). Of course such a ridiculous statement is an anserine absurdity with no relation to reality. (Like most of Darwinism)

    Again, we often see statements like “Joe IDist so and so is a liar and a hypocrite”.

    Of course they are not able to grasp the fact that if they did not have a innate moral sense they could never come to such a conclusion.

    But the moral sense itself is not, and cannot be, a result of matter + energy. Morals, like Truth, are metaphysical.

    They reside in mind and intention and relate to an external Law. Moral agency exists because there is a real Moral Law that governs all free willed activity among sentient beings.

    Morals, like the absolute truths they rest upon, cannot be the result of random and purely physical processes because they do not deal with physical processes but rather with actions and intentions over which the physical world has no rule.

    Hyper Darwinist W. Provine has stated, “no ultimate foundations for ethics exit”.

    But if that is true then nothing is either truly right or wrong and we may change our morals to fit our fancies any time we please.

    Thus accusations of hypocrisy etc are vain since the whole point is to find fault and to place blame which do not exist in a mere physical realm!

    Rocks don’t have truth or morality.
    Only minds with free wills do.

    The strange thing here is that the materialist never grasps that materialism itself annuls objective moral law altogether, thus making all actions and intentions inert.

    This is the curious and erroneous mind-set that leads to books like “A Natural History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion”: by Randy Thornhill,Craig T. Palmer

    They have cut out the organ but still require the function, as Lewis so aptly said. They have cut out free will and objective rights and wrongs but still want to have some lame sort of accountability in society! They give the rapist the best excuse of all but still wish to condemn his acts!

    It leads only to chaos and moral insanity and collapse (as we witness today).

    So. Where do they get off using blame, rightness, wrongness, truth vs lies etc.?

    Doesn’t even make sense. Every time they attempt to prove materialism is true they end up proving it cannot be true by the very attempt!

    If relativism (the only moral recourse of materialism) were true, then it can’t be true since it must itself be relative.

    Yet they will curse, swear, condemn and whine on and on that they are absolutely right!!

    Reminds me of a conversation on a university campus between a theist and an atheist Darwinist (this is a true story):

    Atheist: “There are no absolutes”
    Theist: “Are you absolutely sure? Because if you are then there’s at least one eh…”
    Atheist: “I mean there is no real right or wrong!”
    Theist: “Well you could be really right or really wrong about that”
    Atheist (getting angry as usual): “I mean there is no Truth!!”
    Theist: “Is that the truth?”

    This isn’t hard.

  6. great_ape writes:

    Yet are mental states definitively nonmaterial? Because if there remains the possibility that they are, in some way, material, then it would seem that physical states *could* be about other physical states. Namely, it remains possible that brain states are about world states, etc.

    Admitedly, I don’t have a watertight logical proof that a brain state can’t be an intentional state. In its absence, the materialist could always say that since first-person subjectivity is itself perception and encompasses the very phenomenon of understanding itself, the first-person subjective phenomenon cannot be perceived and understood, and so he may be afforded a little wiggle room in this regard. However, I think what I’ve provided is still pretty strong. Material states cannot, by their very nature, have an intrinsic content–at least not in any way that can be understood.

  7. great_ape:
    “But just for the sake of argument, would a map not be considered a state of material that is, in essence, *about* another separate state of material (i.e. the mapped region)? Can maps not be accurate vs. inaccurate and therefore true or false?”

    Does the paper and ink with which the map was made “know” that the dimesions are “true”?

  8. Does the paper and ink with which the map was made “know” that the dimesions are “true”? –PaV

    You imply “aboutness” requires consciousness. This is not immediately obvious to me, but, admittedly, the opposite conclusion is also not so obvious either.

    “Material states cannot, by their very nature, have an intrinsic content–at least not in any way that can be understood.” –crandaddy

    I agree that it is difficult to understand how this could be the case. I can not, however, rule it out at this juncture. Regarding the inspiration for your original post, I suspect that both Egnor and the Thumber penned their thoughts without considering the full complexity of the matter.

  9. Does the paper and ink with which the map was made “know” that the dimesions are “true”? –PaV

    You imply “aboutness” requires consciousness. This is not immediately obvious to me, but, admittedly, the opposite conclusion is also not so obvious either.—great-ape

    I would argue that “aboutness” cannot exist without consciousness. But I was implying that “truth” is impossible without consciousness.

  10. Apollos,
    That debate was between Dawkins and David Quinn
    http://origins.swau.edu/misc/Dawkins2.mp3

    UD linked it from here:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....vid-quinn/

  11. It’s now bookmarked. Thanks Charlie. It merits another listen.

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