Intelligent Design

Franz Kafka’s faceless bureaucrat explains everything you need to know to live in peace with materialism and scientism

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Purple Hearts

A friend at ProgettoCosmo, the Italian ID site, writes to remind us of J. P. Moreland’s dictum: “There will never be a natural explanation for consciousness from matter, period.”

Moreland is arguing from principle, that is, putting forward an argument from impossibility: “There will never be…” is not “it is unlikely…”.

But what happens when Moreland, or any ID advocate, defends similar positions by arguing from principle. When debating materialist supporters of scientism/evolutionism, they usually faces a Kafka-esque situation:

[Early 20th century Czech writer Franz Kafka wrote about hopeless impasses with irresponsible bureaucracies, thus lending his name to the increasingly frequent situation.]

1) The evolutionist puts on the table evolution’s claims that are totally absurd (consciousness from matter, organization from disorder or self-organization, universe from nothingness, etc.).

2) The IDer objects that such claims disagree with basic a priori truths (more doesn’t come from less, quality doesn’t arise from quantity, “ex nihilo nihil”, “nihil agit se ipsum”, etc.).

3) The evolutionist asks the IDer to prove such a priori truths because a priori truths don’t exist.

4) The IDer says that they are self-evident and asks the evolutionist why he in turn hasn’t to prove his own claims and why there is a double standard.

5) Answer: because evolution is true.

3 Replies to “Franz Kafka’s faceless bureaucrat explains everything you need to know to live in peace with materialism and scientism

  1. 1

    Not only true, evolution is smarter than you IDiots!!!

  2. 2
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    What a bizarre argument.

    There are no “a priori truths” concerning the possibility or impossibility of natural explanation for consciousness from matter.

    Both sides are wrong (or would be, if they made such absurd claims).

    Personally, I see perfectly good explanations of consciousness from matter, but I wouldn’t argue a priori that they must exist.

  3. 3
    Matteo says:

    Elizabeth, could you please provide a hint as to what these perfectly good explanations are? I’d be genuinely interested in hearing them.

    The way I see it, a materialistic explanation of mind is not philosophically possible for the following reason. Any such explanation cannot posit mind (let’s call it consciousness) as a cause otherwise it wouldn’t be a materialistic explanation. Therefore the explanation would have to boil down to one in which only matter (call it physics) is a cause.

    Hence we’d be coming up with something essentially along the lines of “Physics did everything, consciousness did nothing, and that’s why there is consciousness.” Which, does not, of course make any sense.

    You can add all kinds of elaboration about functional modules, feedback, strange loops, emergence, and whatever else, but the above still seems quite inescapable to me.

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