Converging and Convincing Proof of God: Consciousness
there is no me, since "me" can be fully explained by matters outside of me. No longer is consciousness "more distinctive than the taste of ale or alum, more distinctive than the smell of walnutleaf or camphor." No longer is it "incommunicable by any means to another man." In short, it is not consciousness.
Also, if consciousness could be explained as purely physical phenomena, then we would have to face the fact that we are not free. Everything we think, desire, or feel would of necessity follow physical laws. All of a sudden, our consciousness has become a matter of necessity, of determinism, and moral responsibility disappears, as does the importance of anything we do, and indeed the importance of who I am and of who you are.
Additionally, if consciousness were a product of matter alone, then what is thought? Thought would be but a dream, a nightmare perhaps, caused by "an undigested bit of beef, a blot of muster, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato." It would seem our scientists who disdain the human spirit are philosophical Scrooges in serious need of some ghostly visitations.
The argument of God's existence from the experience of human consciousness is a rather simple series of steps. Not all of them are without controversy, and, unfortunately, we are not able to expand on them in this article. For one effort, we might borrow from J. P. Moreland's article "The Argument from Consciousness":
- Mental events (such as human consciousness or thought) are genuine nonphysical mental entities that exist.
- Specific mental and physical even types are regularly correlated,
- There is an explanation for these correlations.
- Personal explanation is different from natural scientific explanation.
- The explanation for these correlations is either a personal or a natural scientific explanation.
- The explanation is not a natural scientific one.
- Therefore, the explanation is a personal one.
- If the explanation is personal, then it is theistic.
- Therefore, the explanation is theistic.
In his book The Right Questions: Truth, Meaning & Public Debate, Phillip Johnson has mocked the holy writ of the materialists:
In the beginning were the particles and the impersonal laws of physics.
And the particles somehow became complex living stuff;
And the stuff imagined God;
But then discovered evolution.
Well . . . doubtfully. For there is the irreducible fact of consciousness, and, as, in a saying Descartes stated in his Regulae XII: sum ergo Deus est. I am conscious, therefore, God exists. If "God is dead," as Nietzsche famously said, then man is dead. Conversely, if man is alive, then God is alive. God and God's image go together for the very simple reason that God's image comes from God.
No. The materialists are wrong. The theists are right. I am too sure of "my selfbeing, my consciousness and feeling of myself, that taste of myself, of 'I' and 'me' above and in all things." And no materialist can presume to tell me otherwise.
In light of this mystery of human consciousness and the inability of a pure materialistic philosophy adequately to answer it, it seems that we are at the threshold of Faith.
It would be unseeming at the threshold of Faith to turn away, and refuse to hear the words of the child: Tolle lege. Tolle lege. Take and read. Take and read. It is befitting--more responsible and sensible--to take leave from science and turn to the words of the Gospel of John:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God
He was in the beginning with God
All things came to be through him, and without whim nothing came to be.
. . . .
And the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-3, 14)
Yes. This Word, this Logos become man--Christ--makes eminently more sense than particles and their swerve. Turn not to particles, but to
Chríst--for Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men's faces.
Aye. And in men's consciousness, men's internal faces.
In Christ, I may hope some day to see God face to face, "my selfbeing, my consciousness and feeling of myself, that taste of myself, of 'I' and 'me' above and in all things" will see God's self-being, God's consciousness and feeling of Himself, that taste of God Himself, of God's I am Who am, of God eminently above and in all things. (Cf. 1 Cor. 13:12)
Andrew M. Greenwell is an attorney licensed to practice law in Texas, practicing in Corpus Christi, Texas. He is married with three children. He maintains a blog entirely devoted to the natural law called Lex Christianorum. You can contact Andrew at email@example.com.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: proofs of God, existence of God, consciousness, Andrew M. Greenwell
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