God new evidence

GOD: new evidence


Thinking ABOUT things

(Beyond Ourselves #05)

What's in the series?      Previous: A Different View       Next: True or False?

How you experience life from inside, as a conscious person is completely different from what a scientist sees from the outside when they study your brain:

For example, you are conscious about things: you see something; you think about something; you want something or you are afraid of something. Being conscious has an object.

But how can an arrangement of atoms and molecules in our brains be about anything? It is just a collection of atoms.

There must be something else going on – something that connects a particular arrangement of atoms with, say, thinking about what I’m going to do tomorrow.

And the thing that makes this connection cannot just be more atoms and molecules – it must be a completely different kind of thing – something that gives meaning to the molecules.

So on one hand there is the scientific description in terms of brain cells and electric pulses, and on the other hand there is a personal description in terms of what we are looking at, or wanting, or thinking about. 

Once again we are left asking whether there is something about our consciousness that points beyond ourselves to a deeper story.

As the atheist philosopher Alex Rosenberg says:

'Physics and neuroscience both tell us, for different reasons, that one clump of matter can’t be about another clump of matter. Computer science combined both to show that human brain states can’t really be about stuff for exactly the same reason that the internal working of your laptop can’t really be about anything at all.'

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Test of Faith

‘Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing, and delicately balanced to provide exactly the conditions required to support life. In the absence of an absurdly improbable accident, the observations of modern science seem to suggest an underlying, one might say, supernatural plan.’
- Nobel Prize-winning scientist Arno Penzias