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 doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t exist (itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s neither matter nor energy). If truth doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t exist, then materialism canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be true.”
Dude, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s like, so deep.Ã¢â‚¬â€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! 🙄