Wednesday, January 25, 2012 10:03:16 AM
I suppose I'd usually put this in a notebook, but anyway... it seems to me that materialism is, ultimately, an attack on consciousness. I suspect that, at heart, the materialist is unable to believe in the obvious (consciousness being the obvious). And an attack on consciousness is probably also an attack on free will, since if there is any path to free will at all, then it must surely be consciousness.
But since we all experience the obvious, the materialist must find ways to undermine this. The intention to undermine is revealed when the contradictions of materialist argument are pointed out. If humans are nothing more than matter, whence consciousness? The argument, of course, is that consciousness is an epiphenomenon. It is only matter that is conscious. And yet materialists are the least likely of all people to believe that any matter other than human matter can be conscious. 'The Fall of the House of Usher'? Preposterous, they'll say. Even living animals they are dubious about. So matter can't be conscious? Which gives rise again to the question, whence consciousness? But this time we know that the agenda of the materialists is to wipe out consciousness if they possibly can (IE, the assertion that consciousness is only an arrangement of matter is not meant to elevate matter - which in other contexts they cannot believe is so elevated as to be conscious - but to denigrate consciousness to the level of the matter that they cannot believe is conscious). Presumably because it is irksome to them to have something they cannot explain and control. They will move from 'epiphenomenon' somehow to 'hallucination' (but what is hallucinating consciousness if not consciousness?), and they will move from 'hallucination' to 'nothing', if they can.
Another illustration of the contradictions of materialism can be seen in the standard argument against telepathy: nothing immaterial can possibly have an effect on the material universe. But, hang on a minute, aren't you the same people who say that there is nothing but the material universe anyway? Therefore, thoughts are material and there is no reason why they should not have an effect on the material universe. At which point they might try to reverse their argument and say there are non-material things. (Note: the reason they have to reverse the argument is that they're looking for a way to say that consciousness doesn't exist. If they admit that consciousness is material, they have to admit also that it exists. They reverse their arguments because some things have to be 'imaginary' and therefore non-material in order that they can banish them from existence.) Yes. And we're back to the question: where do those non-material things come from?