Thursday, September 14, 2006

Mind Games

Working on the assumption that we are nothing but a conglomeration of physical stuff that has evolved into a massively complicated biochemical system, if follows that the mind we all think we have (ponder that phrase for a second), is really just a neuron-firing, chemical-reaction-based epiphenomenon of a massive computer made of meat.

“Huh?”

What I said is what the naturalistic paradigm demands to be true about your mind. Because there can be no reality beyond the physical stuff that makes up your brain, those pesky non-physical “thoughts” you have cannot really be non-physical. They must have a physical explanation in line with the tenets of materialist dogma. This is one of naturalism’s greatest challenges. For how could it be that non-physical, abstracts (your thoughts, ideas, hopes, dreams, ponderings) could have emerged from something purely physical? To admit that thoughts are not physical things would be to undermine the naturalistic assumptions about ultimate reality and thus destroy the foundation of the materialist paradigm. We can’t have that.

Instead, in their attempt to explain the enormous differences in capacities between humans and animals, naturalistic scientists have constructed the theory that what we perceive to be non-material “thoughts” are really just highly complex chemical phenomena that have “emerged” from enormously complex neurological activity that has evolved over millions of years.

You just think you have a mind. You really only have a brain.

Dr. Stephen Barr offers a brilliant critique of this assumption in his book Modern Physics and Ancient Faith. There he utilizes the work of Roger Penrose and John Lucas to apply Gödel’s Theorem to the notion that the human brain is really just a computer made of meat. As it turns out, Barr uses mathematics and logic (the language of naturalism) to show that intellect has the capability to create computers but the reverse is not true. Computers are not capable of creating intellect. In fact, Barr notes …
“…the idea that man can be nothing other than a machine is really nothing other than a pure deduction from atheism. There is not a shred of positive evidence that a material system can reproduce the human abilities to understand abstractly and will freely.”
But that’s just the beginning. An even more fascinating find has just been published in Discover Magazine. You can read it here to see if anything blatantly theistic jumps out at you.

To be continued ...

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