Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

The Nature of Consciousness Vs Religious Concepts

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

Just wanted to share this article, and perhaps clarify any of the points if folks have any questions.

Okay, thanks. When we just see a link posted it isn't always obvious why the link was posted so we typically look for some input from poster as to why they posted the link.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The "soul need a body to exist" is a good argument to make, there's nothing wrong with it. But you won't convince religious people with it, because they'll dismiss it with the same logical error they accepted God in the first place with: by allowing the arbitrary, namely some kind of physical mechanism to sustain the soul, that we cannot see, hear and detect with our current technology.

As for the other argument, "consciousness requires something to be conscious of, therefor God cannot have been conscious before the World", that's hard to argue against, even if someone does his best to evade reality. I guess they can refuse to take the time to understand it though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This article assumes a vast amount about the relationship of the mind(soul) and the body. It supports itself logically, but that alone isn't enough to objectively prove a premise!

Our body might just be one of many mechanisms that our soul could conceivably use to interact with a reality. Notice that I said a reality, not a super-natural reality, just "a reality." There is nothing that exists which doesn't exist, and there are things that exist that are beyond our current means of perception. I suppose you could make the point that religious people assume too much about the nature of reality beyond our current understandings of things, but you can't say that -deciding- that there can't be another form of reality is any less of an intellectual error.

The example it gives about dying is refuted by Zsrenson when he said this: "All this argument proves is that the 'spiritual mind' cannot exist in the 'physical' world when its physical home, the brain, ceases to function."

And about alcohol effecting our conscious state. Alcohal, and psychoactive drugs alter our means of perception of reality, but not reality itself. Our consciousness/soul could be a separate entity from our body, thus being it's own reality in a sense.

Another way to look at it is this: are the chemical reactions in the brain a physical manifestation of conscious thought, or does conscious thought and perception arise from chemical reactions in the brain?

It's an interesting conceptual discussion, but only time and advancement into science will be able to reveal the truth.

Edited by Big B
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our body might just be one of many mechanisms that our soul could conceivably use to interact with a reality. Notice that I said a reality, not a super-natural reality, just "a reality." There is nothing that exists which doesn't exist, and there are things that exist that are beyond our current means of perception.

This is what scientific advancement is for. We can't see subatomic particles using our 5 senses, and therefore we build machines to enhance our sight. However, we are still using one of our 5 senses and our reasoning. What most proponents of religion advocate, is not that we need more sophisticated machines to enhance our existing senses, but that we need some other sense, which no one truly possesses, in order to "hear" god. If a religious person claimed that they believed God was similar to alien life, (ie, out there and simply hasnt been found yet) then I doubt many people would complain. However, the belief that God is everywhere, all powerful, all knowing, and yet completely unknowable by human kind (in terms of his objective properties) is what makes claiming that this form of religious belief is irrational not an intellectual error. To say that the soul could exist outside of our method of perception would mean one of two things: either that we simply dont have the necessary equipment to see the specific wavelengths that a soul exists on, or that it is impossible to perceive while we are still alive. The second is what most religious people would assert, and to say that that is impossible is not an error in thinking.

Edited by Cmac19
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our body might just be one of many mechanisms that our soul could conceivably use to interact with a reality.

Conceivably is a good word to use there. As long as it's clear that conceivably doesn't mean possibly, since the things we can conceive of are not the measure of reality.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...