Does strict materialism imply there is no such thing as intrinsic value?
If we say something has intrinsic value, I take it we mean that it is 'good' in itself, for its own sake.
I'm not using 'good' to mean 'morally good' - but just "good from at least someone's point of view" in the sense that the experience of of eating an ice cream seems good to me. I think conscious experiences, in general, have intrinsic value - at least in this personal-point-of-view way. I also think this aspect of my experience is crucial to rational decision-making; without it, I'd have no clear basis for deciding between, say, eating an ice cream and setting myself on fire.
I also think that if we go a bit further and say that that experiences have intrinsic value, period (i.e., objectively, from everyone's point of view), then we might have the basis of a theory of morality.
Now, I gather that some philosophers might object to such a theory, on the grounds that ideas like "ought", "should" or "morally bad" cannot be construed as natural, physical properties; so given the widely accepted truth of materialism, they have no real meaning at all. However, it seems to me that if this argument is correct, it applies to subjective intrinsic value too.
I know how it feels to be aware of the intrinsic value of my own experience - but I can give no definition or explanation of this impression, in terms of purely physical properties, nor can I derive such a description from what I know of the physical world (which is rather a lot). Hence, if I assume that materialism is true, I cannot rationally justify my choice of ice-cream over being on fire.
I think this argument gives reasonable grounds for doubting materialism -- but I'd very much like to know what professional philosophers make of it!
In the meantime, I think I'll go out for an ice cream.