How do you get blood from a stone? Easy. Start by redefining “blood” to mean “a variety of stone.” Next, maintaining as straight a face as possible, dramatically expound upon some trivial respect in which stone is similar to blood. For example, describe how, when a red stone is pulverized and stirred into water, the resulting mixture looks sort of like blood. Condescendingly roll your eyes at your incredulous listener’s insistence that there are other and more important respects in which stone and blood are dissimilar. Accuse him of obscurantism and bad faith. Finally, wax erudite about the latest research in mineralogy, insinuating that it somehow shows that to reject your thesis is to reject Science Itself.
Of course, no one would be fooled by so farcical a procedure. But substitute “mind” for “blood” and “matter” for “stone,” and you have the recipe for Daniel Dennett’s From Bacteria to Bach and Back. The philosopher Peter Geach once wrote that we should treat materialist claims to have explained the mind the way we would treat a claim to have squared the circle: the only question worth asking is “How well has the fallacy been concealed?” In Dennett’s case, not well. More.
No, Dennett does not conceal the fallacy well. But look at his audience. Do they really care? For the bicoastal elite, naturalism does not need to make sense so much as it needs to be enforced.
See also: Philosopher Ed Feser offers some fun: Richard Dawkins vs. Thomas Aquinas
Philosopher exposes neo-Darwinian Daniel Dennett: Claims “so preposterous as to verge on the deranged”
The illusion of consciousness sees through itself.