Materialism, Meaning, and Purpose

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #1

The problem is not design per se. The problem is meaning and purpose.

Jim Stump in his review says that scientists claim that meaning and purpose are outside of the purview of science. While I understand the rationale behind this point of view I do not agree with it because it distorts the meaning of science and evolution and creates all sorts of practical and theoretical problems.

The question is not one of design, but is there real design or only “apparent design?” Monod in his book Chance and Necessity which is the philosophical basis for methodological materialism says that objects cannot think and therefore do not have purpose. However he knows that humans can and do create objects that do have meaning and purpose. He therefore makes the distinction between artificial objects which do have meaning and purpose, in a word design, and natural objects which do not.

Monod’s dichotomy makes sense if the universe was not created by a rational God. Monod’s dichotomy makes sense if God did not give rational order to the universe through rational natural and moral law. Monod makes the assumption that that the only source of rationality in the universe is humanity, which obviously is untrue.

The fact is that an apple has an objective purpose independent of humanity. The purpose of the apple is to be the source of new apple trees. The purpose of the apple is also to be eaten which facilitates the planting of new apple trees. Therefore Monod’s materialistic theory is bunk and methodological materialism is also bunk.

Material things do not think, but they are part of a rational structure of the universe that has meaning and purpose, and so they too have meaning and purpose. They are part of real design, not apparent design which makes life coherent and comprehensible.

The design question is not an argument for God. The design question is a the question of Cosmos or Chaos, of Logos or Confusion, Purpose or Anarchy. ID buys into a false dualistic view of science and faith as a layer of meaning over nature, which is why it is wrong. For more detail see my book, Darwin’s Myth.

Reclaiming Design | The BioLogos Forum
(Mohammad Nur Syamsu) #2

I don’t think you understand how subjectivity works.

You seem to make everything objective, including meaning and purpose. What room does this leave for subjectivity?

(Brad Kramer) #3

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