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The Idea of Man Under Materialism
Evolution News and Views ^ | September 18, 2013 | David Klinghoffer

Posted on 09/18/2013 6:42:46 AM PDT by Heartlander

The Idea of Man Under Materialism

Of all the lies that are told about advocates of intelligent design, the one that has had the most success in diverting the debate on life's origins holds that ID is simply about contesting the age of the earth in favor of Scriptural literalism. See, for example, Kevin D. Williamson's grossly ignorant or dishonest, not to mention arrogant and bigoted, diatribe at National Review Online the other day.

Not only is ID not about that, it actually is about issues that are far more profound -- and relevant to NRO's readers, you would think.

Like what issues? Well, Discovery Institute's Stephen Meyer had a rich and fruitful discussion with Michael Medved on the radio yesterday. The topic under examination was the picture of a human being assumed by our country's system of limited, Constitutional government -- and the very different, indeed profoundly alien picture of a human being under materialist assumptions.

I thought it would be helpful to list briefly the key points as Meyer conveyed them. The Constitution assumes:

In contrast, under the materialistic picture of reality pervasive in our culture, you get this:

The clash of these conceptions of man and morality raises the question of whether the American system can survive the triumphant dissemination of Darwinian materialism -- that is, if the way of thinking about human nature that gave rise to that system in the first place has been widely rejected.


TOPICS: Religion; Science; Society
KEYWORDS:

SEE ALSO:

Jefferson's Support for Intelligent Design

Human Rights: Blessed by God or Begrudged By Government?


1 posted on 09/18/2013 6:42:46 AM PDT by Heartlander
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How would our Declaration of Independence read?

We hold no truths to be self-evident, that all (men) are evolved based on chance, that they are endowed by a mindless chemical process from a mindless universal algorithm with circumstantial alienable rights that among these are a delusion of life, materialistic determinism, and the pursuit of happenstance.

2 posted on 09/18/2013 6:53:30 AM PDT by Heartlander (We are all Rodeo Clowns now!)
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To: Heartlander

Yep, that about sez it...

“...We hold no truths to be self-evident, that all (men) are evolved based on chance, that they are endowed by a mindless chemical process from a mindless universal algorithm with circumstantial alienable rights that among these are a delusion of life, materialistic determinism, and the pursuit of happenstance...”


3 posted on 09/18/2013 7:05:33 AM PDT by Monterrosa-24 (...even more American than a French bikini and a Russian AK-47.)
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To: Heartlander

I thought ID theory wasn’t supposed to be limited to a supernatural designer. If that’s the case, it’s not an alternative to materialism (philosophical naturalism). They aren’t mutually exclusive.


4 posted on 09/18/2013 7:07:24 AM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: Heartlander
Newt Gingrich once stated the problem of evolutionism and morality about as succinctly as is possible in noting that the question of whether a man views his neighbor as a fellow child of God or as a meat byproduct of random processes simply has to affect human relationships.

Basically, every halfway honest person with any brains and talent who has taken any sort of a hard look at evolution in the past 60 years has given up on it and many have denounced it. A listing of fifty or sixty such statements makes for an overwhelming indictment of that part of the scientific community which goes on trying to defend evolution and they (the evolosers) have a favorite term ("quote mining") which they use to describe that sort of argument.

My own response to that is to note what I view as the ultimate evolution quote by the noted evolutionist (actually, FORMER evolutionist) Jeffrey Dahmer:

"If a person doesn’t think there is a God to be accountable to, then—then what’s the point of trying to modify your behaviour to keep it within acceptable ranges? That’s how I thought anyway. I always believed the theory of evolution as truth, that we all just came from the slime. When we, when we died, you know, that was it, there is nothing…"

Jeffrey Dahmer, in an interview with Stone Phillips, Dateline NBC, Nov. 29, 1994.

Dahmer converted to Christianity before he died. The basic tenets of true religion appear to be inprinted upon most of us biologically which is the only reason that Islammic societies and "secular humanist" societies like Britain and Canada function at all. A psychopath like Dahmer is basically somebody on whom that imprint did not take. For those guys, it has to be written down somewhere, and it has to be written down accurately; the bible does that. Telling somebody like Dahmer that we all evolved from "lucky dust" is a formula for getting people killed.

Evolution was the basic philosophical cornerstone of communism, naziism, the various eugenics programs, the out of control arms races which led to WW-I and WW-II, and all of the grief of the last 150 years. Starting from 1913, Europe had gone for a hundred years without a major war. They didn't even have to think. All they needed to do was act cool, go to church, have parades, formal balls, attend board meetings, and they'd still be running the world today; they'd be so fat and happy they'd not know what to do with themselves. Instead, they all got to reading about Darwinism, fang and claw, survival of the fittest and all the rest of that nonsense, and the rest as they say is history.

The most interesting analysis of that sad tale is probably Sir Arthur Keith's "Evolution and Ethics"

Keith apparently viewed belief in evolution as some sort of duty of the English educated classes, nonetheless he had a very clear vision of the problems inherent in it and laid it out in no uncertain terms:

From Sir Srthur Keith's "Evolution and Ethics:

Chapter 3

The Behavior of Germany Considered from an Evolutionary Point of View in 1942

....It is worth noting that Hitler uses a double designation for his tribal doctrine National Socialism: Socialism standing for the good side of the tribal spirit (that which works within the Reich); aud Nationalism for the ethically vicious part, which dominates policy at and outside the German frontiers.

The leader of Germany is an evolutionist not only in theory, but, as millions know to their cost, in the rigor of its practice. For him the national "front" of Europe is also the evolutionary "front"; he regards himself, and is regarded, as the incarnation of the will of Germany, the purpose of that will being to guide the evolutionary destiny of its people....

... "Humanitarianism is an evil . . . a creeping poison." "The most cruel methods are humane if they give a speedy victory" is Hitler's echo of a maxim attributed to Moltke. Such are the ways of evolution when applied to human affairs.

...I have said nothing about the methods employed by the Nazi leaders to secure tribal unity in Germany methods of brutal compulsion, bloody force, and the concentration camp. Such methods cannot be brought within even a Machiavellian system of ethics, and yet may be justified by their evolutionary result.

12.

....No aspect of Hitler's policy proclaims the antagonism between evolution and ethics so forcibly as his treatment of the Jewish people in Germany.... ...Hitler is an uncompromising evolutionist, and we must seek for an evolutionary explanation if we are to understand his actions....

It must not be thought that in seeking to explain Hitler's actions I am seeking to justify them. The opposite is the case. I have made this brief survey of public policy in modern Germany with a definite object: to show that Dr. Waddington is in error when he seeks to place ethics on a scientific basis by a knowledge of evolutionary tendencies and practice.

Chapter 4

Human Life: Its Purpose or Ultimate End

IN THE COURSE OF GATHERING INFORMATION concerning man's morality and the part it has played and is playing in his evolution, I found it necessary to provide space for slips which were labeled "Life: Its Ultimate and Proximate Purposes." Only those who have devoted some special attention to this matter are aware of the multitude of reasons given for the appearance of man on earth. Here I shall touch on only a few of them; to deal with all would require a big book. The reader may exclaim: Why deal with any of them! What has ultimate purpose got to do with ethics and evolution! Let a man with a clearer head and a nimbler pen than mine reply. He is Edward Carpenter, who wrote Civilization: Its Cause and Cure (1889).

14.

It is from the sixteenth edition (1923) I am to quote, p. 249:

If we have decided what the final purpose or Life of Man is, then we may say that what is good for that purpose i

s finally "good" and what is bad for that purpose is finally "evil."

...If the final purpose of our existence is that which has been and is being worked out under the discipline of evolutionary law, then, although we are quite unconscious of the end result, we ought, as Dr. Waddington has urged, to help on "that which tends to promote the ultimate course of evolution." If we do so, then we have to abandon the hope of ever attaining a universal system of ethics; for, as we have just seen, the ways of national evolution, both in the past and in the present, are cruel, brutal, ruthless, and without mercy. Dr. Waddington has not grasped the implications of Nature's method of evolution, for in his summing up (Nature, 1941, 150, p. 535) he writes "that the ethical principles formulated by Christ . . . are those which have tended towards the further evolution of mankind, and that they will continue to do so." Here a question of the highest interest is raised: the relationship which exists between evolution and Christianity; so important, it seems to me, that I shall devote to it a separate chapter. Meantime let me say that the conclusion I have come to is this:

the law of Christ is incompatible with the law of evolution as far as the law of evolution has worked hitherto. Nay, the two laws are at war with each other; the law of Christ can never prevail until the law of evolution is destroyed.

All of that, of course, deals only with the question of ethics and the logical consequences of evolutionism. The fact that evolution is junk science argues against it as well.

5 posted on 09/18/2013 7:10:11 AM PDT by varmintman
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To: tacticalogic
Yes, not limited to a supernatural designer - but if one believes the Designer to be God, obviously it can be an alternative to materialism.
6 posted on 09/18/2013 7:13:31 AM PDT by Heartlander (We are all Rodeo Clowns now!)
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To: Heartlander
but if one believes the Designer to be God, obviously it can be an alternative to materialism.

The author doesn't make that distinction. By doing that, he appears to be helping to bolster the argument that ID is really just a creationism in disguise.

7 posted on 09/18/2013 7:32:16 AM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: tacticalogic
The author doesn't make that distinction. By doing that, he appears to be helping to bolster the argument that ID is really just a creationism in disguise.

Which, obviously, it is.

8 posted on 09/18/2013 7:48:30 AM PDT by Kip Russell (Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors -- and miss. ---Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: tacticalogic
People will always see what they want to see but intelligent design is not creationism, nor is it a religious position. It is the application of design theory to the natural and living world. Intelligent design theorists point to the existence of precise physical laws and the fine tuning of universal constants, the staggering complexity and nanotechnology of the living cell, and the digitally-coded information content of DNA as evidence for a designing intelligence.

"For two millennia, the design argument provided an intellectual foundation for much of Western thought. From classical antiquity through the rise of modern science, leading philosophers, theologians, and scientists. From Plato to Aquinas to Newton, maintained that nature manifests the design of a preexistent mind or intelligence. Moreover, for many Western thinkers, the idea that the physical universe reflected the purpose or design of a preexistent mind, a Creator, served to guarantee humanity's own sense of purpose and meaning. Yet today in nearly every academic discipline from law to literary theory, from behavioral science to biology, a thoroughly materialistic understanding of humanity and its place in the universe has come to dominate. Free will, meaning, purpose, and God have become pejorative terms in the academy. Matter has subsumed mind; cosmos replaced Creator."
- Steven Meyer

9 posted on 09/18/2013 7:54:30 AM PDT by Heartlander (We are all Rodeo Clowns now!)
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To: Kip Russell
ID is not Creationism and not a Christian movement (for example David Berlinski is a secular Jew). It's an evidential approach that basically tries to answer the question of what is designed, - not who, when, why, where and how. Which is why the movement is not Christian. Because the Bible does tell us who, why, when, where and how. And so while there are Christians within the intelligent-design movement, the movement itself is not Christian.
10 posted on 09/18/2013 8:06:52 AM PDT by Heartlander (We are all Rodeo Clowns now!)
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To: Heartlander
People will always see what they want to see

Having seen a great many things I didn't want to, I can assure you that particular platitude rings very hollow.

11 posted on 09/18/2013 8:13:09 AM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: tacticalogic

You are obviously free to believe whatever you choose – factual or not – even after being corrected. Just as a reminder though, the article is about the idea of man under materialism and not about whether or not ID is creationism…


12 posted on 09/18/2013 8:24:01 AM PDT by Heartlander (We are all Rodeo Clowns now!)
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To: Heartlander
The basic premise is a comparison of ID vs materialism.

You can't build a sound argument on a flawed premise.

13 posted on 09/18/2013 8:31:17 AM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: tacticalogic

Do you believe your mind ultimately came from mindlessness (lack of any intelligence)?


14 posted on 09/18/2013 8:55:00 AM PDT by Heartlander (We are all Rodeo Clowns now!)
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To: Heartlander
"I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."

-Charles Babbage

15 posted on 09/18/2013 8:57:34 AM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: tacticalogic

It’s called cognitive dissonance...


16 posted on 09/18/2013 9:08:02 AM PDT by Heartlander (We are all Rodeo Clowns now!)
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To: Heartlander

I spent some time studying psyops, and find that once you learn to recognize it, it tends to not work on you any more.


17 posted on 09/18/2013 9:12:13 AM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: tacticalogic
I've spent time around children, and I know how they avoid answering questions. (I like my psyops with a twist of lemon)
18 posted on 09/18/2013 9:26:27 AM PDT by Heartlander (We are all Rodeo Clowns now!)
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To: Heartlander
Name-calling is a common psyops technique. Alinsky taught his followers the value of riducule as a tactic.

Carry on.

19 posted on 09/18/2013 9:50:05 AM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: tacticalogic
Coming on a thread and taking it off topic and refusing to answer a simple question is called trolling – grow up.
Alinsky my ass…
20 posted on 09/18/2013 9:59:45 AM PDT by Heartlander (We are all Rodeo Clowns now!)
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To: Heartlander

I made an observation about what appears to be a serious flaw in the author’s arguments. How can that be “off topic”?


21 posted on 09/18/2013 10:05:36 AM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: tacticalogic
I had to explain why ID can be an alternative to materialism (obvious to anyone) – why ID is not the same as creationism (even though the first sentence of the article stated they are not the same) – and then you refuse to answer a question that is clearly related to the subject.
I've allowed you to waste far too much of my time...
22 posted on 09/18/2013 10:23:55 AM PDT by Heartlander (We are all Rodeo Clowns now!)
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To: Heartlander
I had to explain why ID can be an alternative to materialism (obvious to anyone)

You tried to remove all the possibilities from ID except theological creationism, and maintain that you can still call it ID.

If you mean "creationism", then say "creationism".

23 posted on 09/18/2013 10:35:56 AM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: tacticalogic
Again, ID is not Creationism and not a Christian movement (for example David Berlinski is a secular Jew). It's an evidential approach that basically tries to answer the question of what is designed, - not who, when, why, where and how. Which is why the movement is not Christian. Because the Bible does tell us who, why, when, where and how. And so while there are Christians within the intelligent-design movement, the movement itself is not Christian.

Now answer my question - Do you believe your mind ultimately came from mindlessness (lack of any intelligence)?

24 posted on 09/18/2013 10:47:21 AM PDT by Heartlander (We are all Rodeo Clowns now!)
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To: Heartlander
Now answer my question - Do you believe your mind ultimately came from mindlessness (lack of any intelligence)?

No.

Do you belive yours was designed by someone else and stuck into your head?

25 posted on 09/18/2013 11:11:01 AM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: tacticalogic
If you believe your mind ultimately came from intelligence - that would fall under ID. As the article states:

In contrast, under the materialistic picture of reality pervasive in our culture, you get this:

Now, these things still could apply under ID - but it is necessary under materialism.

If we were built by a process which did not have us in mind but is merely tuned for survival, then, like it or not, there must be a Darwinian explanation for our thoughts and behavior. Put another way, one cannot claim that Darwinism made our brains but has no bearing on the brain's contents. Even Darwin had his doubts:

“Nevertheless you have expressed my inward conviction, though far more vividly and clearly than I could have done, that the Universe is not the result of chance. But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey's mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?”
– Charles Darwin

26 posted on 09/18/2013 11:31:20 AM PDT by Heartlander (We are all Rodeo Clowns now!)
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To: tacticalogic

Oh, and by the way, since you don’t believe your mind ultimately came from mindlessness - does that make you a creationist? Obviously not...


27 posted on 09/18/2013 11:34:35 AM PDT by Heartlander (We are all Rodeo Clowns now!)
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To: Heartlander
Oh, and by the way, since you don’t believe your mind ultimately came from mindlessness - does that make you a creationist?

I notice that you ask questions and berate people for not answering them, but ignore their questions to you.

28 posted on 09/18/2013 11:46:33 AM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: tacticalogic
This question?

Do you belive yours was designed by someone else and stuck into your head?

I personally believe God is the 'designer' of all but I'm not dogmatic about how.

29 posted on 09/18/2013 11:57:35 AM PDT by Heartlander (We are all Rodeo Clowns now!)
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To: Heartlander
I personally believe God is the 'designer' of all but I'm not dogmatic about how.

Any chance there might be some chemical processes involved?

30 posted on 09/18/2013 12:02:56 PM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: tacticalogic
This was a rhetorical question that I answered for you - Oh, and by the way, since you don’t believe your mind ultimately came from mindlessness - does that make you a creationist? Obviously not...
31 posted on 09/18/2013 12:07:05 PM PDT by Heartlander (We are all Rodeo Clowns now!)
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To: tacticalogic

There are still chemical processes involved.


32 posted on 09/18/2013 12:09:23 PM PDT by Heartlander (We are all Rodeo Clowns now!)
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To: Heartlander
This was a rhetorical question that I answered for you

It appears other people are redundant in your debates.

33 posted on 09/18/2013 12:10:22 PM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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