This should be an interesting exercise for you, dear reader. At the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog, with no byline, they’ve just posted this: You Have to Be Conscious to Deny Consciousness, and Other Conundrums. Here are some mind-bending excerpts, with bold font added by us:
Would you have a rational discussion with a zombie? Materialists are forced into the position of discussing philosophy and science with the walking dead, since under their terms we are all that. Unless rationality is a mindful concept — unless we are more than atoms in motion — that’s the logical result of denying mind and intelligence.
Most of you recognize their appeal to mind-body dualism. We discussed it in one of the earliest posts to this humble blog: Discovery Institute Revives Mind-Body Dualism, and a few months after that we wrote: Mind-Body Dualism: It’s Back!
This is fun, huh? Another excerpt:
To deny that we are mindful creatures, the materialist also has to deny the existence of any realm of abstract concepts that a mind can access. Yet materialism itself is an abstract concept. This seems intuitively obvious, but it’s amazing how often materialists ignore the self-refuting nature of their assumptions.
Yes, it’s amazing. Let’s read on:
Nancy Pearcey [BWAHAHAHAHAHA!] wrote about this a few months ago, noting ways in which materialist claims commit the self-referential absurdity: “Applied to itself, the theory commits suicide.”
Is there a formal name for the fallacy of referring to Pearcy? Skipping their lengthy criticism of a published paper, the Discoveroids then say:
By contrast, intelligent design is not self-refuting.
Possibly not. Neither is the claim that Zeus reigns on Mt. Olympus. But what does either of them do for you? Here’s more:
One must also presuppose consciousness and free will to determine if a statement commits the self-referential fallacy. To prove this, we leave you with a choice to work the following logical exercise. You can quit now, or proceed. (Is that choice yours, or is your hunter-gatherer instinct controlling you?) If you choose to continue, look at any or all of the following statements and decide if they are self-refuting by posing a question referring back to the claim. We’ll do the first three as examples. Have fun!
Here’s a partial list of the Discoveroids’ list of “logical exercises.” They provide parenthetical clues for the first three:
• Everything is relative. (Is that absolutely true?)
• Question everything. (Should we question the advice to question everything?)
• Only particles and forces exist. (Is that statement made of particles and forces?)
• All is illusion.
• Name-callers are idiots.
• People are really zombies.
• It’s impossible to know anything.
• Only statements derived empirically are valid.
• Everything evolves.
Okay, that’s enough. It may be that the Discoveroids have persuaded you that immaterial phantasms exist in your head to assist you in your thinking. If so, then you have no choice but to conclude … what? We’ll leave the answer as a final challenge for you.
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