“A neglected but very strong argument”

J P Moreland says that the argument from consciousness to God’s existence is “a neglected but very strong argument”

“You cannot describe conscious states using the language of physical science. You can establish correlations…but you cannot show that they are the same thing….If you start with matter without mind you may end up with more complicated matter but you won’t get mind coming into existence. You have to start the universe with consciousness itself being fundamental. [either] consciousness is a property of matter (or matter has the capability of consciousness) or there is a conscious being.”

He says it’s more likely that there is a fundamental foundational conscious being as we only know of conscious states existing with an identifiable and unified  “I”. There is also no known mechanism by which we can get consciousness from matter. I wonder what happens as we get computers to simulate conscious behaviour more and more though. Also, Buddhism and eastern religions see things a bit differently ie there is consciousness but no I.  “I can’t conceive of a though without a thinker” says Moreland.   

“I am independent of my thought. Ideas, come and go but I remain the same even though my conscious life remains in radical flux…I am also aware of me, I do not have any problem knowing which person in the room is me…my thoughts depend on me and not conversely.”

1)      Consciousness is not physical and you cannot get it from matter

2)      Consciousness does not exist independent of a subject

3)      Therefore there must be a fundamental subject that has consciousness who I call God.”





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