Atheist philosopher, Thomas Nagel does not like Darwinian materialism. Nagel thinks there has to be something more--but he hopes that it is not God. He has written a book, recently published entitled Mind and Cosmos in which he attempts to "develop the rival alternative conceptions” to the “materialism and Darwinism” of our age.
His book has been reviewed by two materialist Darwinists, Brian Leiter and Michael Weisberg. As expected, neither like what they have read. But as always in these cases the position of the materialists and Darwinists is filled with fatuous, question begging contradictions. Once again the Darwinists cannot see the inherent oxymorons in their position.
Nagel argues that one of the big nails in the Darwinisan materialist coffin is the existence of logical truths.
It is self-evident that something cannot be both red and not-red at the same time (the “law of non-contradiction”). So, too, it is self-evident that if all men are mortal, and Socrates is a man, then Socates is necessarily mortal. Even if evolution endowed us with the capacity to recognize the law of non-contradiction and to draw valid deductive inferences, how does it explain the obvious truth of these logical claims? Nagel’s response to this question is that evolution cannot—and the problem is even worse than that:
Any evolutionary account of the place of reason presupposes reason’s validity and cannot confirm it without circularity.
In addition, Nagel recognizes that all (Unbelieving) thought is viciously circular. Evolutionist ideology proceeds by application of reason and rational truths to justify evolutionary accounts of reason. It constantly assumes that which it is trying to explain.Eventually the attempt to understand oneself in evolutionary, naturalistic terms must bottom out in something that is grasped as valid in itself—something without which the evolutionary understanding would not be possible.
How do our two reviewers try to get off the horns of that dilemma? They appeal to the success of naturalistic sciences in explaining the way the world works. This is begging the question on a grand scale:
This response starts by noting that we determine what is “rational” or “justified” simply by appealing to the most successful forms of inquiry into the world that human beings have developed. Paradigmatic examples of those successful forms of inquiry are, of course, physics, chemistry and biology. They are successful precisely in the way that Aristotelian science was not: they enable us to navigate the world around us, to predict its happenings and control some of them. To confuse one’s intuitive confidence in the logical and epistemic norms that make these sciences possible with some kind of a priori access to the “rational order of the world,” as Nagel puts it, is to forget whence that confidence derives—namely, the very success of these sciences. For philosophical naturalists, the charge of circularity is empty, akin to suggesting that the need for a usable table to have legs requires some justification beyond the fact that the legs actually do a necessary job.Science works. So it is its own justification. It is the only justification it needs. Great. Funnily enough logical truths are self-evident and the laws of science "work" and yet Darwinian naturalists insist at the same time that the cosmos is random, having come into existence by brute chance. Presupposing and championing an ultimately random cosmos, our reviewers declare that science works and therefore it is its own justification! Talk about speaking with a forked tongue. Sure we acknowledge that science has born enormous fruit. That's not the issue. The issue is that on evolutionist and materialist terms it ought not. Moreover, science and reason ought not to exist at all, and you ought not to be reading and understanding the words and phrases of this post. The fact that you can and do explodes the materialist Darwinian myth.
If evolutionism and Darwinian naturalism were to be true, logical truths must be a chimera and science would not exist. If logical truths are self-evident and science is fruitful and productive, the cosmos is not random. You cannot have both. Nagel is honest enough to admit this and thus has ditched evolutionism and Darwinian materialism (only to replace it with his own version of mysticism).
His opponents persist intoning mindlessly off a talking points sheet ignoring the fallacies intrinsic to their position. Endlessly reciting the mantra does not make it any less contradictory or more true.