THE CASE FOR A CREATOR


Consciousness #2



The Reality of the Soul


For centuries, the human soul has enchanted poets, intrigued theologians, challenged philosophers, and dumbfounded scientists. Mystics, like Teresa of Avila in the sixteenth century, have described it eloquently: "I began to think of the soul as if it were a castle made of a single diamond or of very clear crystal, in which there are many rooms, just as in heaven there are many mansions." 51


Moreland was understandably more precise in analyzing the soul, though unfortunately less poetic. He had already clarified that the soul contains our consciousness. Still, he hadn't offered any reason to believe that the soul is an actual entity. It was time, I felt, to press him on this issue. "What makes you think that the soul is real?" I asked.

Moreland replied by saying, "First, we're aware that we're different from our consciousness and our body. We know that we're beings who have consciousness and a body, but we're not merely the same thing as our conscious life or our physical life.

"Let me give you an illustration of how we're not the same thing as our personality traits, our memories, and our consciousness. I had a student a few years ago whose sister had a terrible accident on her honeymoon. She was knocked unconscious and lost all of her memories and a good bit of her personality. She did not believe she had been married. As she began to recover, they showed her videos of the wedding to convince her that she had actually married her husband. She eventually got to the point where she believed it, and she got remarried to him.

"Now, we all knew this was the same person all along. This was Jamie's sister. She was not a different person, though she was behaving differently. But she had totally different memories. She had lost her old memories and she didn't even have the same personality. What that proves is you can be the same person even if you lose old memories and gain new memories, or you lose some of your old personality traits and gain new personality traits.

"Now, if I were just my consciousness, when my consciousness was different, I'd be a different person. But we know that I can be the same person even though my consciousness changes, so I can't be the same thing as my consciousness. I've got to be the 'self,' or soul, that contains my consciousness.


(NO, WHAT HAS CHANGED IS THE FUNCTION OF THE BRIAN; YOU LOOSE  PARTS  OF  BRAIN  MEMORY,  AND  MAYBE  ADD  OR  THINK  DIFFERENTLY  IN  BRAIN  FUNCTION.  MY  DAD  HAD  A  STROKE   AT  AGE  91.  HIS  LONG  TERM  MEMORY  WAS  PRETTY  GOOD  BUT  HIS  SHORT  TERM  MEMORY  WAS  ALL  OVER  THE  PLACE.  AND  HIS  BRAIN  MEMORY  WOULD  PUT  THINGS  IN  ALL  KINDS  OF  MIXED  UP  ORDER  OR  CONNECTION.  HE  WAS  FOR  THE  MOST  PART  THE  SAME  PERSON  IN  MANY  WAYS,  BUT  HIS  BRAIN  CONNECTION  NOW  CONNECTED  IN  DIFFERENT  WAYS;  LIKE  CROSS  CONNECTING,  SO  GETTING  THINGS  MIXED  UP.  NOW  AND  AGAIN  FOR  A  FEW  MINUTES  THEY  WERE  CORRECT  IN  THE  MOMENT,  THEN  GET  ALL  CROSSED  UP  AGAIN.  THIS  IS  ALL  TO  DO  WITH  THE  BRAIN,  NOT  THE  "SPIRIT  IN  MAN"  -  Keith Hunt)


"Same with my body. I can't be the same thing as my body or brain. There was a story on television about an epileptic who underwent an operation in which surgeons removed fifty-three percent of her brain. "When she woke up, nobody said, 'We have forty-seven percent of a person here.' A person can't be divided into pieces. You are either a person or you're not. But your brain and your body can be divided. So that means I can't be the same thing as my body."


(SURE  YOU  CAN  DELETE  PARTS  OF  YOUR  BRAIN  SO  DELETING  A  PROBLEM  IN  THE  BRAIN  CONNECTIONS;  YOU  WILL  STILL  BE  THE  SAME  PERSON  BUT  WITHOUT  THAT  MIXED  CONNECTION  THAT  CAUSED  YOU  A  PHYSICAL  PROBLEM.  OR  YOU  CAN  HAVE  A  BRAIN  DAMAGE  THAT  LEAVES  YOU  WITH  CERTAIN  PHYSICAL  PROBLEMS  AND  EVEN  A  DIFFERENT  PERSONALITY  THAN  BEFORE.  MANIC-DEPRESSANT  DISORDER  -  NORMAL,  THEN  HIGHS,  THEN  LOWS,  WHERE  INDEED  PERSONALITY  CHANGES;  CERTAIN  DRUGS  CAN  KEEP  THE  CONNECTIONS  OF  THE  BRAIN  FUNCTIONING  CORRECTLY  SO  THE  PERSON  IS  THE  SAME  PERSONALITY  ALL  THE  TIME,  OR  MOST  OF  THE  TIME.  DEPENDING  WHAT  GOES  WRONG  WITH  THE  CONNECTIONS  IN  THE  BRAIN  CAN  DETERMINE  WHAT  YOU  ARE  IN  PERSONALITY  AND  IN  THE  MOVEMENT  OF  THE  BODY…. PARKINSON'S  DISEASE EFFECTS  THE  BODY.  OUR  BRAIN  AND  BODY  ARE  PHYSICAL  AND  DEPENDING  WHAT  HAPPENS  WITH  THE  BRAIN  MAY  EFFECT  THE  REST  OF  THE  BODY.  DEMONS  CAN  POSSES  A  PERSON.  WE  KNOW  FROM  THE  NEW  TESTAMENT  THEY  CAN  CONTROL  THE  BRAIN  AS  WELL  AS  THE   REST  OF  THE  BODY….MAKING  A  PERSON  A  DIFFERENT  PERSONALITY  AND  OFTEN  DIFFERENT  IN  BODY  FUNCTION  -  Keith Hunt)


Those illustrations helped, though I said, "The fact that the soul and consciousness are invisible makes it difficult to conceptualize them."

"Sure, that's true," he replied. "My soul and my consciousness are invisible, though my body is visible. That's another distinction. In fact, I remember the time when my daughter was in the fifth grade and we were having family prayers. She said, 'Dad, if I could see God, it would help me believe in him.' I said, '"Well, honey, the problem isn't that you've never seen God. The problem is that you've never seen your mother.' And her mother was sitting right next to her!

"My daughter said, '"What do you mean, Dad?' 

I said, "Suppose without hurting your mom, we were able to take her apart cell by cell and peek inside each one of them. We would never come to a moment where we would say, 'Look—here's what Mommy's thinking about doing the rest of the day.' Or 'Hey, this cell contains Mommy's feelings.' Or, so this is what Mom believes about pro football. We couldn't find Mommy's thoughts, beliefs, desires, or her feelings. Guess what else we would never find? We'd never find Mommy's ego or her self. We would never say, 'Finally, in this particular brain cell, there's Mommy. There's her ego, or self.' That's because Mommy is a person, and persons are invisible. Mommy's ego and her conscious life are invisible. Now, she's small enough to have a body, while God is too big to have a body—so let's pray!'


(IN  THE  TRUEST  SENSE  YES  WE  CAN'T  GO  INTO  A   PERSON  AND  FIND  THEIR  THOUGHTS  AND  ETC.  AS  MENTIONED  ABOVE.  IT  IS  THE  "SPIRIT  [NOT  SOUL]  IN  MAN"  CONNECTED  TO  THE  BRAIN  THAT  IS  THE  BLUEPRINT  OF  THE  PERSON,  AND  THAT  SPIRIT  IN  MAN  IN  INVISIBLE.  IT  IS  THAT  SPIRIT  IN  MAN  THAT  RECORDS  THE  ACTUAL  PERSON,  SO  WHEN  THAT  SPIRIT  GOES  BACK  TO  GOD  WHO  GAVE  IT [ECC. 12:7]  AT  DEATH,  THE  ACTUAL  PERSON  IS  RECORDED  AS  LIKE  A   CD  DISC.  WHEN  THE  RECORDED  PERSON  IS  PUT  BACK  INTO  A  PHYSICAL  OR  SPIRIT  BODY  AT  THE  RESURRECTION,  ALL  FIT  ONCE  MORE  AND  THE  PERSON  IS  AGAIN  ALIVE;  WHEN  A  CD  IS  PUT  INTO  A  PLAYER  THE  RECORDING  COMES  ALIVE  AND  FUNCTIONAL  -  Keith Hunt)


"The point is this, Lee: I am a soul, and I have a body. We don't learn about people by studying their bodies. We learn about people by finding out how they feel, what they think, what they're passionate about, what their worldview is, and so forth. Staring at their body might tell us whether they like exercise, but that's not very helpful. That's why we want to get 'inside' people to learn about them.

"So my conclusion is that there's more to me than my conscious life and my body. In fact, I am a self or an 'I,' that cannot be seen or touched unless I manifest myself through my behavior or my talk. I have free will because I'm a 'self,' or a soul, and I'm not just a brain."


(TRUE  BECAUSE  WE  HAVE  A  "SPIRIT  IN MAN"  AS  THE  BIBLE  CALLS  IT;  WE  ARE   INDEED  NOT  JUST  BRAIN  AND  PHYSICAL  OTHER  PARTS  THAT  MAKE  A  BODY  -  Keith Hunt)


Of Computers and Bats


Moreland's denial that the brain produces consciousness made me think of the debate over whether future computers can become sentient. I decided to ask him to weigh in on the issue-—-although his ultimate conclusion was never in doubt.

"If a machine can achieve equal or greater brain power as human beings, then some physicalists say the computer would become conscious," I said. "I assume you would disagree with that."

Moreland chuckled. "One atheist said that when computers reach the point of imitating human behavior, only a racist would deny them full human rights. But of course that's absurd. Nobel-winner John Eccles said he's 'appalled by the naivete' of those who foresee computer sentience. He said there's no evidence whatsoever for the statement made that, at an adequate level of complexity, computers also would achieve self-consciousness." 52

"Look, we have to remember that computers have artificial intelligence, not intelligence. And there's a huge difference. There's no 'what it's like to be a computer.' A computer has no 'insides,' no awareness, no first-person point of view, no insights into problems. A computer doesn't think, 'You know what? I now see what this multiplication problem is really like.' A computer can engage in behavior if it's wired properly, but you've got to remember that consciousness is not the same as behavior. Consciousness is being alive; it's what causes behavior in really conscious beings. But what causes behavior in a computer is electric circuitry.

"Let me illustrate my point. Suppose we had a computerized bat that we knew absolutely everything about from a physical point of view. We would have exhaustive knowledge of all its circuitry so that we could predict everything this bat would do when it was released into the environment. Contrast that with a real bat. Suppose we knew everything about the organs inside the bat—its blood system, nervous system, brain, heart, lungs. And suppose that we could predict everything this bat would do when released into the environment. There would still be one thing that we would have no idea about: what it's like to be a bat. What it's like to hear, to feel, to experience sound and color. That stuff involves the 'insides' of the bat, its point of view. That's the difference between a conscious, sentient bat and a computerized bat. So in general, computers might be able to imitate intelligence, but they won't ever have consciousness. We can't confuse behavior with what it's like to be alive, awake, and sentient. A future superintelligent computer might be programmed to say it's conscious or even behave as if it were conscious, but it can never truly become conscious, because consciousness is an immaterial entity apart from the brain."


(AND  SO  TRUE  -  WE  HAVE  A  "SPIRIT  IN  MAN"  THAT  MAKES  MANKIND,  MANKIND,  WITH  A  CONSCIOUSNESS  THAT  A  MACHINE  CAN  NEVER  HAVE,  OR  ANY  ANIMAL  CAN  NEVER  HAVE.  YOU  CAN  GIVE  TEXT  BOOKS  TO  AN  ANIMAL  AND  THEN  AN  EXAM  FRO  MILLIONS/BILLIONS  OF  YEARS,  AND  THEY  WILL  NEVER  BE  ABLE  TO  ANSWER  THE  EXAM.  NOW  A  MACHINE  FED  THE  INFO  MIGHT  ANSWER  THE  RIGHT  QUESTIONS,  BUT  THEN  A  MACHINE  WILL  NEVER  GAIN  HUMAN  CONSCIOUSNESS  AS  WE  HAVE  AND  EXHIBIT  IT  IN  ALL  FORMS  OF  OUR  LIFE  -  Keith Hunt)


Moreland's choice of a bat for his illustration was an oblique reference to New York University philosopher Thomas Nagel's famous 1974 essay "What Is It Like to Be a Bat?" 53 Thinking about life from a bat's perspective prompted me to briefly pursue another line of inquiry on a tangential topic. "What about animals-—do they have souls or consciousness?" I asked.

"Absolutely," came his quick answer. "In several places the Bible uses the word soul' or spirit' when discussing animals.5  Animals are not simply machines. They have consciousness and points of view. But the animal soul is much simpler than the human soul. For example, the human soul is capable of free moral action, but I think the animal soul is determined. Also, Augustine said animals have thoughts, but they don't think about their thinking. And while we have beliefs about our beliefs, animals don't.

"You see, the human soul is vastly more complicated because it's made in the image of God. So we have reflection and thinking. And while the human soul survives the death of its body, I don't think the animal soul outlives its body. I could be wrong, but I think the animal soul ceases to exist at death."

Bad news, it seems, for the bat.


(YES  AN  ANIMAL  HAS  A  "SPIRIT"  WITHIN  CONNECTED  TO  THE  BRAIN,  BUT  IT  IS  DIFFERENT  IN  MANY  WAYS  THAN  THE  "SPIRIT  IN  MAN"  THAT  GOD  GAVE  MAN.  BOTH  ARE  INVISIBLE,  AND  MORE  IMPORTANT  ONE  [THAT  MAN  HAS]  IS  GREATER  IN  WAYS  IT  INTERACTS  WITH  THE  HUMAN  BRAIN.  SOME  ANIMAL  BRAINS  ARE  LARGER  THAN  HUMAN  BRAINS;  IT  IS  THE  NATURE  OF  THE  "SPIRIT"  THEN  THAT  MAKES  HUMAN  CONSCIOUSNESS  WAY  DIFFERENT  THAN  ANIMAL  CONSCIOUSNESS.  THE  BIBLE  SAYS  NOTHING  ABOUT  THE  "SPIRIT  IN  ANIMALS"  GOING  BACK  TO  GOD  AT  DEATH.  COULD  GOD  RESURRECT  YOUR  FAVORITE  PET?  WELL  YES  OF  COURSE  GOD  COULD  IF  HE  DESIRED,  OR  TO  GIVE  YOU  PLEASURE  IN  ETERNAL  LIFE.  HE  COULD  RESURRECT  YOUR  FAVORITE  PET  IN  SPIRIT  FORM;  IT  IS  WRITTEN  WITH  GOD  ALL  THINGS  ARE  POSSIBLE  -  Keith Hunt)


Consciousness and Evolution


Moreland had made a cogent case for consciousness and the soul being independent of our brain and body. "How does this present a problem for Darwinists?" I asked.


Moreland glanced down at some notes he had brought along. "As philosopher Geoffrey Medell said, 'The emergence of consciousness, then, is a mystery, and one to which materialism fails to provide an answer.' Atheist Colin McGinn agrees. He asks, 'How can mere matter originate consciousness? How did evolution convert the water of biological tissue into the wine of consciousness? Consciousness seems like a radical novelty in the universe, not prefigured by the aftereffects of the Big Bang. So how did it contrive to spring into being from what preceded it?'"


Moreland looked squarely at me. "Here's the point: you can't get something from nothing? he declared. "It's as simple as that. If there were no God, then the history of the entire universe, up until the appearance of living creatures, would be a history of dead matter with no consciousness. You would not have any thoughts, beliefs, feelings, sensations, free actions, choices, or purposes. There would be simply one physical event after another physical event, behaving according to the laws of physics and chemistry."


Moreland stopped for a moment to make sure this picture was vivid in my mind. Then he leaned forward and asked pointedly: "How, then, do you get something totally different—conscious, living, thinking, feeling, believing creatures—from materials that don't have that? That's getting something from nothing! And that's the main problem. If you apply a physical process to physical matter, you're going to get a different arrangement of physical materials. For example, if you apply the physical process of heating to a bowl of water, you're going to get a new product—steam—-which is just a more complicated form of water, but it's still physical. And if the history of the universe is just a story of physical processes being applied to physical materials, you'd end up with increasingly complicated arrangements of physical materials, but you're not going to get something that's completely nonphysical. That is a jump of a totally different kind. At the end of the day, as Phillip Johnson put it, you either have 'In the beginning were the particles,' or 'In the beginning was the Logos,' which means 'divine mind.' If you start with particles, and the history of the universe is just a story about the rearrangement of particles, you may end up with a more complicated arrangement of particles, but you're still going to have particles. You're not going to have minds or consciousness. However—and this is really important—if you begin with an infinite mind, then you can explain how finite minds could come into existence. That makes sense. What doesn't make sense—-and which many atheistic evolutionists are conceding-—-is the idea of getting a mind to squirt into existence by starting with brute, dead, mindless matter. That's why some of them are trying to get rid of consciousness by saying it's not real and that we're just computers."


He smiled after that last statement, then added: "However, that's a pretty difficult position to maintain while you're conscious!"


The Emergence of the Mind


"Still," I protested, "some scientists maintain that consciousness is just something that happens as a natural byproduct of our brains complexity. They believe that once evolution gave us sufficient brain capacity, consciousness inexorably emerges as a biological process."


"Let me mention four problems with that," Moreland insisted. "First, they are no longer treating matter as atheists and naturalists treat matter-—-namely as brute stuff that can be completely described by the laws of chemistry and physics. Now they're attributing spooky, soulish, or mental potentials to matter."

"What do you mean by potentials'?"

"They're saying that prior to this level of complexity, matter contained the potential for mind to emerge—and at the right moment, guess what happened? These potentials were activated and consciousness was sparked into existence."

"What's wrong with that theory?"

"That is no longer naturalism," he said. "That's panpsychism."

That was a new term to me. "Pan what?'

"Panpsychism" he repeated. "It's the view that matter is not just inert physical stuff, but that it also contains proto-mental states in it. Suddenly, they've abandoned a strict scientific view of matter and adopted a view that's closer to theism than to atheism. Now they're saying that the world began not just with matter, but with stuff that's mental and physical at the same time. Yet they can't explain where these pre-emergent mental properties came from in the first place. And this also makes it hard for them to argue against the emergence of God."

"The emergence of God?" I asked. "What do you mean by that?"

"If a finite mind can emerge when matter reaches a certain level of complexity, why couldn't a far greater mind—God—emerge when millions of brain states reach a greater level of consciousness? You see, they want to stop the process where they want it to stop — at themselves —but you can't logically draw that line. How can they know that a very large God hasn't emerged from matter, because, after all, haven't a lot of people had religious experiences with God?"

"That wouldn't be the God of Christianity," I pointed out.

"Granted," he replied. "But this is still a problem for atheists. And there's a second problem: they would still be stuck with determinism, because if consciousness is just a function of the brain, then I'm my brain, and my brain functions according to the laws of chemistry and physics. To them, the mind is to the brain as smoke is to fire. Fire causes smoke, but smoke doesn't cause anything. It's just a byproduct. Thus, they're locked into determinism.

"Third, if mind emerged from matter without the direction of a superior Intelligence, why should we trust anything from the mind as being rational or true, especially in the area of theoretical thinking?

"Let me give you an analogy. Lets say you had a computer that was programmed by random forces or by non-rational laws without a mind being behind it. "Would you trust a printout from that machine? Of course not. Well, same with the mind-—and that's a problem for Darwinists. And by the way, you can't use evolution as an explanation for why the mind should be considered trustworthy, because theoretical thinking does not contribute to survival value."


Moreland's comments reminded me of the famous quote from British evolutionist J. B. S. Haldane: "If my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of the atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true ... and hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms." 55


"Here's the fourth problem," Moreland went on, "If my mind were just a function of the brain, there would be no unified self. Remember, brain function is spread throughout the brain, so if you cut the brain in half, like the girl who lost fifty-three percent of her brain, then some of that function is lost. Now you've got forty-seven percent of a person. Well, nobody believes that. We all know she's a unified self, because we all know her consciousness and soul are separate entities from her brain.

"There's one other aspect of this, called the 'binding problem.' When you look around the room, you see many things at the same time," he said, gesturing around at various objects in our field of vision. "You see a table, a couch, a wall, a painting in a frame. Every individual thing has light waves bouncing off of it and they're striking a different location in your eyeball and sparking electrical activity in a different region of the brain. That means there is no single part of the brain that is activated by all of these experiences. Consequently, if I were simply my physical brain, I would be a crowd of different parts, each having its own awareness of a different piece of my visual field.

"But that's not what happens. I'm a unified T that has all of these experiences at the same time. There is something that binds all of these experiences and unifies them into the experience of oneself-—me-— even though there is no region of the brain that has all these activation sites. That's because my consciousness and my self are separate entities from the brain."


(WELL  YES  YOU  HAVE  TO  BE  MORE  THAN  JUST  A  PHYSICAL  BRAIN,  MORE  THAN  JUST  A  LUMP  OF  MATTER  PUT  TOGETHER  INTO  CELLS  AND   ATOMS  AND  CONNECTIONS  BY  THE  MILLIONS  OR  BILLIONS.  THEY  SAY  MY  NEW  SMART  PHONE [YOU  KNOW  HOW  LARGE  OR  SMALL  THEY  ARE]  HAS  AT  LEAST  A  THOUSAND  TIMES  MORE….WHATEVERS  IN  IT  THAN  WHAT  THE  SPACESHIP  THAT  LANDED  THE  AMERICANS  ON  THE  MOON  IN  1969  HAD.  AND  MY  SMART  PHONE  IS  A  MILLION  MILES  AWAY  FROM  HAVING  HUMAN  CONSCIOUSNESS  -  Keith Hunt)


Moreland was on a roll, but I jumped in anyway. "What about recent brain studies that have shown activity in certain areas of the brain during meditation and prayer?" I asked. "Don't those demonstrate that there's a physical basis for these religious experiences, as opposed to an immaterial basis through the soul?"


"No, it doesn't. All it shows is a physical correlation with religious experiences," he replied.

"You'll have to explain that," I said.

"Well, there's no question that when I'm praying, smelling a rose, or thinking about something, my brain still exists. It doesn't pop out of existence when I'm having a conscious life, including prayer. And I would be perfectly happy if scientists were to measure what was going on in my brain while I'm praying, feeling forgiveness, or even thinking about lunch. But remember: just because there is a correlation between two things, that doesn't mean they're the same thing. Just because there's a correlation between fire and smoke, this doesn't mean smoke is the same as fire. Now, sometimes your brain states can cause your conscious states. For example, if you lose brain functioning due to Alzheimer's disease, or you get hit over the head, you lose some of your mental conscious life. But there's also evidence that this goes the other way as well. There are data showing that your conscious life can actually reconfigure your brain. For example, scientists have done studies of the brains of people who worried a lot, and they found that this mental state of worry changed their brain chemistry. They've done studies of the brain patterns of little children who were not nurtured and loved, and their patterns are different than children who have warm experiences of love and nurture. So it's not just the brain that causes things to happen in our conscious life; conscious states can also cause things to happen to the brain. Consequently, I wouldn't want to say there's a physical basis for religious experiences, even though they might be correlated. Sometimes it could be cause-and-effect from brain to mind, but it could also be cause-and-effect from mind to brain. How do the scientists know it isn't actually my prayer life that's causing something to happen in my brain, rather than the other way around?" 56


(CERTAINLY  THINGS  OUTSIDE  THE  BRAIN  CAN  ALTER  THE  BRAIN,  AS  A  BLOW  ON  THE  HEAD,  MAY  CAUSE  SOMETHING  THAT  WAS  FIRING  CORRECTLY  IN  THE  BRAIN  TO  NOT  FIRE  CORRECTLY,  SO  ALTERING  THE  SPEECH  PART,  OR  MOVEMENT  PART  OF  THE  BRAIN.  WE  KNOW  THAT  FLYING  OFF  THE  HANDLE [LOOSING  OUR  TEMPER]  DOES  BRING  BAD  CHEMICALS  INTO  OUR  BLOOD  STREAM.  WE  KNOW [TAKE  A  LOOK  AT  THE  PRESIDENTS  OF  THE  USA  OVER  THE  LAST  30  YEARS]  AND  SEE  HOW  PRESSURE,  STRESS,  AND  ALL  THAT  GOES  WITH  THAT  JOB,  AGES  THEM  OVER  4  OR  8  YEARS.  SO  THINGS  OUTSIDE  OF  US  DO  EFFECT  OUR  BODY  AND  SO  OUR  BRAIN.  THEY  NOW  TELL  US  TO  KEEP  OUR  BRAIN  VERY  ACTIVE  AS  WE  GET  OLDER;  THE  MORE  ACTIVE  OUR  BRAIN  IS  THE  BETTER  WE  STAY  YOUNGER  IN  BRAIN  AND  TO  SOME  EXTENT  [THOUGH  OTHER  THINGS  NEEDED]  OUR  BODY.  BUT  AGAIN  WE  MUST  REMEMBER  OUR  INNER  SELVES  -  THE  SPIRIT  IN  MAN  -  DOES  NOT  TAKE  OVER  AND  SPEAK  FOR  US  IF  WE  SOMEHOW  LOOSE  OUR  SPEAKING  ABILITY,  AND  ETC.  -  Keith Hunt)


The Return of Ockham's Razor


As we talked about the human mind, mine was drifting back to my first interview with William Lane Craig, during which he brought up a scientific principle called Ockham's razor. As I listened to Moreland defend the concept of dualism, it dawned on me that Ockham's razor would argue in the opposite direction-—-toward the view that only the brain exists—because it says science prefers simpler explanations where possible. It was a challenge I decided to pose to Moreland.

"You're familiar with the scientific principle called Ockham's razor," I said to him.

As soon as the question left my mouth, Moreland knew where I was headed. "Yes, it says that we shouldn't multiply entities beyond what's needed to explain something. And I assume your objection is that Ockham's razor would favor a simple alternative, such as the brain accounting for everything, rather than more complicated explanation like the two entities of dualism."

"That's right," I said. "Surely this undercuts the case for dualism."

He was ready with an answer. "No, it really doesn't. Actually, Ockham's razor favors dualism, and here's why," he said. "What's the intent of Ockham's razor? The thrust of this principle is that when you're trying to explain a phenomenon, you should only include the elements that are necessary to explain the phenomenon. And as I've demonstrated through scientific evidence and philosophical reasoning, dualism is necessary to explain the phenomenon of consciousness. Only dualism can account for all of the evidence-—-and, hence, it does not violate Ockham's razor."


I wasn't ready to give up. "But maybe we just don't have all the evidence yet," I said. "Maybe your conclusions are premature. Physicalists are confident that the day will come when they'll be able to explain consciousness solely in physical terms."


Moreland's reply was adamant: "There will never, ever be a scientific explanation for mind and consciousness."


His forceful and unequivocal statement startled me. "Why not?" I asked.


"Think about how scientists go about explaining things: they show that something had to happen due to antecedent conditions. For example, when scientists explain why gases behave the way they do, they show that if you hold the volume constant and increase the temperature, the pressure has to increase. That is, when we heat a pressure cooker, the pressure goes up. When scientists explain that, they don't just correlate temperature and pressure. They don't just say that temperature and pressure tend to go together. They try to show why the pressure has got to increase, why it couldn't have done anything other than that, given the temperature increase. Scientists want to show why something has to happen given the cause; they're not content simply to correlate things and leave it at that. And this will never work with consciousness, because the relationship between the mind and the brain is contingent, or dependent. In other words, the mind is not something that had to happen. One atheist asked, 'How could a series of physical events, little particles jostling against one another, electric currents rushing to and fro, blossom into conscious experience? Why shouldn't pain and itches be switched around? Why should any experience emerge when these neurons fire in the brain?' He's pointing out that there's no necessary connection between conscious states and the brain. So in the future scientists will be able to develop more correlations between conscious states and states of the brain, and that's wonderful. But my point is this: correlation is not explanation. To explain something scientifically, you've got to show why the phenomenon had to happen given the causes. And scientists cannot explain the why behind consciousness, because there's no necessary connection between the brain and consciousness. It didn't have to happen this way."


Deductions about God


It's no wonder that Alvin Plantinga of Notre Dame University, a dualist who is frequently called the greatest living American philosopher, surveyed the current body/mind debate and concluded: "Things don't look hopeful for Darwinian naturalists."57


Faced with data and logic that support dualism, and unable to offer a plausible theory for how consciousness could have erupted from mindless matter, atheists are pinning their hopes on some as-yet-undetermined scientific discovery to justify their faith in physicalism. And some aren't even so sure about that-—physicist and atheist Steven Weinberg said scientists may have to "bypass the problem of human consciousness" altogether, because "it may just be too hard for us." 58  In other words, it's failing to give them the answers they want. As for Moreland, he agrees with Plantinga's bleak assessment for atheists. "Darwinian evolution will never be able to explain the origin of consciousness," he told me. "Perhaps Darwinists can explain how consciousness was shaped in a certain way over time, because the behavior that consciousness caused had survival value. But it can't explain the origin of consciousness, because it can't explain how you can get something from nothing. In Darwin's notebooks, he said if there was anything his theory can't explain, then there would have to be another explanation—a creationist explanation. Well, he can't explain the origin of mind. He tried to reduce consciousness down to the brain, because he could tell a story about how the brain evolved. But as we've discussed, Lee, consciousness cannot be reduced merely to the physical brain. This means the atheist creation story is inadequate and false. And yet there is an alternative explanation that makes sense of all the evidence: our consciousness came from a greater Consciousness. You see, the Christian worldview begins with thought and feeling and belief and desire and choice. That is, God is conscious. God has thoughts. He has beliefs, he has desires, he has awareness, he's alive, he acts with purpose. We start there. And because we start with the mind of God, we don't have a problem with explaining the origin of our mind."


I asked, "'What, then, can we deduce about God from this?"


"That he's rational, that he's intelligent, that he's creative, that he's sentient. And that he's invisible, because that's the way conscious beings are. I have no inclination to doubt that this very room is teeming with the presence of God, just because I can't see or touch or smell or hear him. As I explained earlier, I can't even see my own wife! I can't touch, see, smell, or hear the real her. One more thing. The existence of my soul gives me a new way to understand how God can be everywhere. That's because my soul occupies my body without being located in any one part of it. There's no place in my body where you can say, 'Here I am.' My soul is not in the left part of my brain, it's not in my nose, it's not in my lungs. My soul is fully present everywhere throughout my body. That's why if I lose part of my body, I don't lose part of my soul.


(WELL  OF  COURSE  THE  SPIRIT  IN  MAN  IS  INVISIBLE,  SO  YOU  CAN'T  SAY  IT  IS  HERE  OR  THERE  PER  SE;  BUT  IT  DOES  WORK  IN  CONJUNCTION  WITH  OUR  PHYSICAL  BRAIN,  MAKING  US  HUMAN;  HUMAN  CONSCIOUSNESS  THAT  IS  DIFFERENT  THAN  ANIMAL  CONSCIOUSNESS.  THE  SPIRIT  IN  MAN  IS  A  MIRACLE  FROM  GOD,  AND  IT  IS  A  DIFFERENT  SPIRIT [REMEMBER  THIS  IS  NOT  THE  HOLY  SPIRIT]  THAN  WHAT  SPIRIT  THE  ANIMALS  HAVE  WITH  THEIR  PHYSICAL  BRAIN,  WHICH  THEN  MAKES  EACH  SPECIES  OF  ANIMAL  DO  WHAT  THEY  CAN  DO  WITH  THEIR  BRAIN.  IT  IS  A  WONDERFUL  SPIRIT  MYSTERY  ONLY  GOD  HAS  TO  GIVE  TO  EACH  ACCORDING  AS  EACH  IS  CREATED  -  Keith Hunt)


"In a similar way, God is fully present everywhere. He isn't located, say, right outside the planet Mars. God occupies space in the same way the soul occupies the body. If space were somehow cut in half, God wouldn't lose half his being. So now I have a new model, based on my own self, for God's omnipresence. And shouldn't we expect this? If we were made in the image of God, wouldn't we expect there to be some parallels between us and God?"


(YES  TRUE  TO  A  POINT.  BUT  GOD  IS  EVERYWHERE  THROUGH  HIS  HOLY  SPIRIT.  KINDA  LIKE  WHAT  SCIENTISTS  NOW  CALL  "DARK  MATTER"  WHICH  IS  EVERYWHERE.  BUT  GOD  HIMSELF  IS  A  BEING  WITH  SHAPE  AND  A  SPIRIT  BODY;  HE  IS  IN   A  PLACE  CALLED  HEAVEN,  IN  A  THRONE  ROOM,  AND  SITS  ON  A  THRONE  WITH  JESUS  THE  CHRIST  SITTING  NEXT  TO  HIM,  ON  HIS  RIGHT  HAND.  ALL  THIS  I  PROVE  IN  A  NUMBER  OF  STUDIES  ON  THIS  WEBSITE  -  Keith Hunt)


I asked, "Do you foresee more scientists coming to the conclusion that the soul, though immaterial, is very real?"

"The answer is yes-—-if they are willing to open themselves up to nonscientific knowledge," he replied. "I believe in science; it's wonderful and gives us some very important information. But there are other ways of knowing things as well. Because, remember, most of the evidence for the reality of consciousness and the soul is from our own first-person awareness of ourselves and has nothing to do with the study of the brain. The study of the brain allows us to correlate the brain with conscious states, but it tells us nothing about what consciousness itself IS.

"But, J. P., aren't you asking scientists to do the unthinkable—to ignore scientific knowledge?"

"No, not at all," he insisted. "I'm only asking that they become willing to listen to all the evidence and see where it leads—which is what the quest for truth should be about."

"And if they do that?"

"They will come to believe in the reality of the soul and the immaterial nature of consciousness. And this could open them up personally to something even more important—to a much larger Mind and a much bigger Consciousness, who in the beginning was the Logos, and who made us in his image."


Cogito Ergo Sum


A ringing telephone ended our conversation, although I was wrapping up the interview anyway. A colleague was calling to remind Moreland of a faculty meeting. I thanked Moreland for his time and insights, gathered my things, and strolled out to my car. I was just about to start the engine, but instead I let go of the key, leaned back in my seat, and took a few moments (as Moreland would say) to introspect.


Interestingly, this very act of introspection intuitively affirmed to me what Morelands facts and logic had already established-—-my ability to ponder, to reason, to speculate, to imagine, and to feel the emotional brunt of the interview showed that my mind surely could not have been the evolutionary by-product of brute, mindless matter.


"Selfhood ... is not explicable in material or physical terms," said philosopher Stuart C. Hackett. "The essential spiritual selfhood of man has its only adequate ground in the transcendent spiritual Selfhood of God as Absolute Mind."59


In other words, I am more than just the sum total of a physical brain and body parts. Rather, I am a soul, and I have a body. I think—therefore, I am. Or as Hackett said: "With modest apology to Descartes: Cogito, ergo Deus est! I think, therefore God is." 60


I found myself wholeheartedly agreeing with philosopher Robert Augros and physicist George Stanciu, who explored the depths of the mind/body controversy and concluded that "physics, neuroscience, and humanistic psychology all converge on the same principle: mind is not reducible to matter." They added: "The vain expectation that matter might someday account for mind … is like the alchemist's dream of producing gold from lead. 61


I leaned forward and started the car. After months of investigating scientific evidence for God-—-traveling a total of 26,884 miles, which is the equivalent of making one lap around the Earth at the equator —-I had finally reached a critical mass of information. It was time to synthesize and digest what I had learned—and ultimately to come to a conclusion that would have vast and life-changing implications.


For Further Evidence


More Resources on This Topic


Cooper, John W. Body, Soul, and Life Everlasting. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerd-mans, 1989.

Habermas, Gary, and J. P. Moreland. Beyond Death. Wheaton, 111.: Crossway, 1998.

Moreland, J. P. "God and the Argument from Mind." In Scaling the Secular City. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker, 1987.

What Is the Soul? Norcross, Ga.: Ravi Zacharias International Min
istries, 2002.

and Scott B. Rae. Body and Soul. Downers Grove, 111.: InterVarsity,

2000.

Taliaferro, Charles. Consciousness and the Mind of God. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

Witham, Larry. "Mind and Brain." In By Design: Science and the Search for God. San Francisco: Encounter Books, 2003.

…………………


YES  INDEED  MAN  IS  MORE  THAN  JUST  PHYSICAL  MATERIAL;  MAN  WAS  MADE  FROM  THE  DUST  OF  THE  EARTH,  AND  WIND  OR  AIR  WAS  BREATHED  INTO  HIS  BODY,  AND  BE  BECAME  A  LIVING  CREATURE - A  HUMAN  CREATURE.  IT  IS  LATER  IN  THE  BIBLE  THAT  GOD  TELLS  US  WE  ARE  ALSO  GIVEN  SOMETHING  ELSE  -  "THE  SPIRIT  IN  MAN"  -  THE  NON-PHYSICAL  SPIRIT  THAT  WORKS  WITH  THE  MATERIAL  BRAIN.  IT  IS  A  SPECIAL  SPIRIT,  JUST  FOR  MANKIND.  IT'S  NOT  THE  HOLY  SPIRIT,  THE  DIVINE  NATURE  OF  GOD,  BUT  SOMETHING  THAT  DOES  MAKE  US  DIFFERENT  THAN  ANY  OTHER  CREATURE  ON  LAND,  AIR,  AND  SEA.  NONE  OF  GOD'S  CREATURES  ARE  ROBOTS,  ALL  HAVE  A  "SPIRIT"  FITTING  FOR  THEIR  BRAIN  AND  WHAT  THEY  ARE;  BUT  MANKIND  HAS  A  UNIQUE  SPIRIT  WITH  HIS  BRAIN.  IT  GIVES  A  UNIQUE  CONSCIOUSNESS   THAT  BELONGS  TO  HUMAN  KIND  ONLY,  WHICH  THEN  MAKES  HUMANS  WAY  DIFFERENT  AND  WAY  ABOVE  ALL  OTHER  CREATURES  ON  EARTH.


I  HAVE  A  FULL  IN-DEPTH  STUDY  ON  THIS  WEBSITE  CALLED  "THE  SPIRIT  IN  MAN."  YOU  NEED  TO  STUDY  IT;  AND  ALSO  THE  STUDIES  CALLED  "DEATH  -  WHAT  THEN?"


AND  TO  ROUND  ALL  THAT  OFF  YOU  NEED  TO  STUDY  MY  STUDY  CALLED  "A  CHRISTIAN'S  DESTINY"  AND  LEARN  YOU  WERE  BORN  TO  WIN,  TO  WIN  THE  GREATEST  PRIZE  YOU  COULD  EVER  IMAGINE.


Keith Hunt