Is Human Consciousness Evidence for God’s Existence?

The existence and reality of consciousness present one of the most pressing challenges to naturalism.  As we have said, metaphysical naturalism is the view that only physical things exist.  As a result, everything that exists should be describable in physical terminology, including properties such as weight, size, and location.  But there are certain subjective aspects of the world that resist such explanation.

–Christian authors, Josh and Sean McDowell, Evidence that Demands a Verdict

 

Gary“There are certain subjective aspects of the world that resist such explanation.”  Says who?

Christians have been telling humankind for two millennia that various issues involving our universe cannot be explained by natural phenomena alone; an Intelligent Designer had to be involved.  Remember when the Catholic Church and Martin Luther scoffed at the claim by Copernicus that the physical evidence demonstrates that the sun revolves around the earth and not the reverse? Every time we run up against an unsolved riddle of the universe, Christians cry out in unison, “It must be God!”; the phenomenon in question must have a supernatural cause, which ultimately, must be (the Christian) God.  But science keeps blowing through one Christian assumption after another, doesn’t it?

The latest unsolved riddle is the origin of human consciousness.  Can a naturalist explanation exist for this phenomenon?  Scientists believe that there probably is:

From:  MIT Technology Review

—Is a worm conscious? How about a bumblebee? Does a computer that can play chess “feel” anything?

Christof Koch
Christof Koch
Daniel Dennett, cognitive scientist and philosopher agrees:

7 thoughts on “Is Human Consciousness Evidence for God’s Existence?

  1. Which means that you’ve just undermined if not eradicated rationality.

    If your thoughts are just the byproducts of randomly arranged atoms, any appeal to logic or rationality is just a byproduct of randomly arranged atoms. Any sense of “truth” is one of those byproducts.

    This is a fundamental flaw in the naturalist’s thinking. Not that their thoughts are worth anything more than a roll of a dice.

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    1. Before you write off the naturalist view, I would encourage you (and other theistic believers) to study it fist.

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  2. “Consciousness itself” is not an issue, one way or the other. It may be one of nature’s great “parlor tricks”.

    But, the issue is whether the brain, at times when it *is* conscious, has anything to be conscious *of* in regards to the one “thinking the thoughts”. That is, unless there is something that is “uniquely me” (and, I do NOT mean a platonic “self” here), then I might could well have a consciousness and even a type of “self awareness”, but *only* in relation to my environment. And this is, of course, exactly the way most people live their lives.

    But, as Liam points out, the only way our thoughts – our “reasoning” (to be more specific) – can ever be correct, except by a fluke, is if we are, in some fashion, equally conscious of *some other source besides* our surroundings – something that gives *us* our own existence.

    Science has such doubt in that concept, though, that even now there are scientists actually spending lots of money to try to figure out if we’re avatars in a computer simulation.

    The bible never talks about consciousness at all. It does, however, speak quite a bit about the “spirit”. Even if “consciousness itself” is a construct of the brain, yet, it still needs something to be “conscious *of*”, in regards to the one actually having the thoughts. In biblical terms, that would be the spirit – that part of us that is connected to God. Break that connection, and you might as well be an avatar in somebody else’s computer simulation….

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    1. Once again, I prefer to withhold judgment and wait for more evidence.

      The assumptions that—just because we don’t understand something it must be God—and—just because something seems so obvious it must be true—have been proven false many times in the past. How many millions of human beings were absolutely certain that the sun revolves around the earth because that is what we all “see” happen every day. No wonder that Martin Luther and other very intelligent religious people of his day thought that Copernicus was off his rocker. But he wasn’t. It turned out that what was so obviously true, was not. Once again, science triumphed over religious superstition.

      I have a suspicion that in not too many years, the same will be said on this issue!

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  3. If human consciousness were a unique phenomenon, the theists might have an argument. But we appear to be just a part of a continuum of consciousness. Looking at, say, a plant, an insect, my cat, an elephant, a chimp, and humans, we can see that there are varying levels of self-awareness out there, and we are just at the high end. And I’m not convinced that chimps or dolphins are any less self-aware than we are. So we’re not so unique and special, the way theists try to tell us we are.

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