On materialism and meaninglessness

by Neil Rickert

Over at the Discovery Institute’s “Evolution News and Views” blog, David Klinghoffer has a post titled “What Intelligent Design Offers to Agnostics.”  He is, of course, referring to the tribune post with a similar title.  He spends some time talking about materialism.  For example, he says:

Materialism corrodes the confidence we might otherwise have that any search for meaning that we undertake is not necessarily in vain. Intelligent design offers the hope, by the refutation of materialist science, that “something is out there,” whatever it might be, capable of granting genuine purpose to our existence.

We often hear this kind of criticism coming from ID proponents and from creationists.  Yet I cannot find any basis for it.  Many of the people whom Klinghoffer would consider to be materialists, self included, live very meaningful lives and are not at all filled with the kind of despair that Klinghoffer describes.

Where do Klinghoffer and other ID proponents and creationists get these ideas?  Perhaps they have no good arguments, and they are trying this for want of a better argument.  Then funny thing is that our experience of designed things, whether they be puppets, mechanical toys or robots, is an experience of things that are mindless and have no meaning.  Based on the evidence, it ought to be ID that leads to meaninglessness and nihilism.

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