Monday, February 20, 2006

Animalizing Reason

Leon Wieseltier provides a crushing review of darwinist Daniel Dennett's book, Breaking the Spell:

"In this profound sense, Dennett does not believe in reason. He will be outraged to hear this, since he regards himself as a giant of rationalism. But the reason he imputes to the human creatures depicted in his book is merely a creaturely reason. Dennett's natural history does not deny reason, it animalizes reason. It portrays reason in service to natural selection, and as a product of natural selection. But if reason is a product of natural selection, then how much confidence can we have in a rational argument for natural selection? The power of reason is owed to the independence of reason, and to nothing else. (In this respect, rationalism is closer to mysticism than it is to materialism.) Evolutionary biology cannot invoke the power of reason even as it destroys it."

If reason, isn't objectively true but was created by natural selection then why should we believe it? And moreover, why should we use reason to try to prove a worldview that disproves the truth of reason?

As Norman Geisler and Frank Turek explain, "if materialism is true, then reason itself is impossible. For if mental processes are nothing but chemical reactions in the brain, then there is no reason to believe that anything is true (including the theory of materialism). Chemicals can't evalute whether or not a theory is true. "

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