03 July 2009

Intelligent Design = No free will

ID (intelligent design/creationism) has purported that the entire universe was created by an intelligent 'designer' and actually do use some factual scientific evidence to support it. And of course, their scientific evidence is dwarfed by the Darwinic evidence. But I digress. The hole I want to poke into their entire argument centers on free will.

For about as long as philosophy has existed, free will has been a hot debate. From my readings of ID, readings that say that everything was created following a specific design, there is only one possibility regarding free will: there is none.

You see, if someone created us, and we were created to serve a purpose, that purpose is our drive. To have such a drive is akin to a computer program. The program could be a jumble of useless code, but if it were, it would not serve its purpose. But if the code was specific, the program would do what the author intended. As such, if we were all created to fulfill a purpose, then we have no free will.

To extend it further, no creator of anything will create something that has no purpose. Yes, artists do create 'anti-art' but in doing so, they create art. To paraphrase Hegel and Heidegger, nothing is something because labeling a nothing 'nothing' makes it something. An intelligent creator would not create beings that had zero purpose. That would be illogical and defy the intelligent basis of the argument. The ID science shows intelligent purpose. From my memory: "the universe was created by the creator following a specific plan. Nothing created was by chance or haphazard." And the ID crowd have gone to great lengths to tackle the 'by chance' angle. They have proposed wonderful mind games to prove their point. Such as:

If you are riding on a train towards Wales and you see a bunch of rocks on a hillside, and those rocks spell out 'welcome to Wales' (those rocks actually exist, they were put there by the British Railways) you have two choices, which are either they were put there following a plan or they were completely arranged as such by chance. The point of that exercise is to illustrate the 'impossibility' of the universe evolving by chance (yes, the argument goes much deeper, but let's not cover that now).

And that is where ID falls upon its own sword. Not only do most of their assertions result in endless loops (meaning that they can not be true), there is simply no possible way for them to allow for free will without destroying their own argument.

For a being to have free will, that being must be able to make all choices according to its own personal whim, to have the ability to go against a plan. With ID, there is a plan. With ID, there is no free will.

To take it further, without a free will, and with a plan, then heaven and hell could not exist at all. They would simply be aberrations, ghosts in the machine, delusions. When the machine, man, ceases to exist, so would heaven and hell. If one must have an afterlife, then only heaven or only hell must exist. For both to exist, there can be either no designer or no free will.

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