Intelligent Design Mind Naturalism Neuroscience

At Mind Matters News: The final materialist quest: A war on the reality of the mind

Spread the love

Going to war with the very concept of the mind is an approach even George Orwell did not think up. Bound to happen though. Philosophy student Joe Gough explains:

The terms mind and mental are used in so many ways and have such a chequered history that they carry more baggage than meaning. Ideas of the mind and the mental are simultaneously ambiguous and misleading, especially in various important areas of science and medicine. When people talk of ‘the mind’ and ‘the mental’, the no-mind thesis doesn’t deny that they’re talking about something – on the contrary, they’re often talking about too many things at once. Sometimes, when speaking of ‘the mind’, people really mean agency; other times, cognition; still others, consciousness; some uses of ‘mental’ really mean psychiatric; others psychological; others still immaterial; and yet others, something else.

News, “The final materialist quest: A war on the reality of the mind” at Mind Matters News

Takehome: When George Orwell wrote 1984, he addressed destroying minds, not denying their possibility and changing the language associated with them.

But the new approach is probably more efficient, if workable.


You may also wish to read: How a materialist philosopher argued his way to panpsychism. Galen Strawson starts with the one fact of which we are most certain — our own consciousness. To Strawson, it makes more sense to say that consciousness is physical — and that electrons are conscious — than that consciousness is an illusion.

3 Replies to “At Mind Matters News: The final materialist quest: A war on the reality of the mind

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    As to this comment from Joe Gough’s article

    “When we see the concepts of mind and mental doing such harm, we have good reason to get rid of them.”

    And as News noted in response to Joe Gough in her article,

    So we are to remove the single most important concept that separates humans from sand dollars from our language? For what purpose?,,,
    In short, whatever proposition about consciousness one wishes to go with,,, there is no escaping the reality of the mind.

    Joe Gough is hardly the first atheist to try to deny the reality of his own conscious mind,

    The Brain: The Mystery of Consciousness – Steven Pinker – Monday, Jan. 29, 2007
    Part II THE ILLUSION OF CONTROL
    Excerpt: “Another startling conclusion from the science of consciousness is that the intuitive feeling we have that there’s an executive “I” that sits in a control room of our brain, scanning the screens of the senses and pushing the buttons of the muscles, is an illusion.”
    Steven Pinker – Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University
    http://www.academia.edu/279485.....sciousness

    “There is no self in, around, or as part of anyone’s body. There can’t be. So there really isn’t any enduring self that ever could wake up morning after morning worrying about why it should bother getting out of bed. The self is just another illusion, like the illusion that thought is about stuff or that we carry around plans and purposes that give meaning to what our body does. Every morning’s introspectively fantasized self is a new one, remarkably similar to the one that consciousness ceased fantasizing when we fell sleep sometime the night before. Whatever purpose yesterday’s self thought it contrived to set the alarm last night, today’s newly fictionalized self is not identical to yesterday’s. It’s on its own, having to deal with the whole problem of why to bother getting out of bed all over again.,,,
    – Alex Rosenberg – Professor of Philosophy Duke University – The Atheist’s Guide to Reality, ch.10

    “that “You”, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. As Lewis Carroll’s Alice might have phrased: “You’re nothing but a pack of neurons.” This hypothesis is so alien to the ideas of most people today that it can truly be called astonishing.”
    Francis Crick – “The Astonishing Hypothesis” 1994

    At the 23:33 minute mark of the following video, Richard Dawkins agrees with materialistic philosophers who say that:
    “consciousness is an illusion”
    A few minutes later Rowan Williams asks Dawkins ”If consciousness is an illusion…what isn’t?”.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWN4cfh1Fac&t=22m57s

    Atheistic Materialism – Does Richard Dawkins Exist? Dr. Dennis Bonnette – video 37:51 minute mark
    Quote: “It turns out that if every part of you, down to sub-atomic parts, are still what they were when they weren’t in you, in other words every ion,,, every single atom that was in the universe, that has now become part of your living body, is still what is was originally. It hasn’t undergone what metaphysicians call a ‘substantial change’. So you aren’t Richard Dawkins. You are just carbon and neon and sulfur and oxygen and all these individual atoms still.
    You can spout a philosophy that says scientific materialism, but there aren’t any scientific materialists to pronounce it.,,, That’s why I think they find it kind of embarrassing to talk that way. Nobody wants to stand up there and say, “You know, I’m not really here”.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVCnzq2yTCg&t=37m51s

    The elephant in the living room problem for Joe Gough and other atheists who want to deny the reality of their own conscious minds is the rather inconvenient fact that the, by far, most certain fact that we can possibly hold to be unquestionably true about reality is the fact that we are conscious.

    Indeed, as I, (via Descartes), pointed out recently,
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/lutheran-religious-studies-prof-asks-is-methodological-naturalism-racist/#comment-737061

    ,,,, “as Rene (“I think therefore I am”) Descartes pointed out, We can doubt the existence of all things save for the fact that we exist to do the doubting in the first place. As Descartes explained, “we cannot doubt of our existence while we doubt….”

    Cogito, ergo sum
    Cogito, ergo sum[a] is a Latin philosophical proposition by René Descartes usually translated into English as “I think, therefore I am”.[b] The phrase originally appeared in French as je pense, donc je suis in his Discourse on the Method, so as to reach a wider audience than Latin would have allowed.[1] It appeared in Latin in his later Principles of Philosophy. As Descartes explained, “we cannot doubt of our existence while we doubt….” A fuller version, articulated by Antoine Léonard Thomas, aptly captures Descartes’s intent: dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum (“I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am”).[c][d] The concept is also sometimes known as the cogito.[2]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cogito,_ergo_sum

    And as I further pointed out in that post,,,

    ,,, “Every conception of reality that has ever been put forth by humans, (however correct or incorrect that conception of reality may be), starts with the fact that people really do exist as real conscious beings who are trying to make sense of the world. In other words, Consciousness itself is the prerequisite of all possible prerequisites in any possible definition of reality that we may put forth.

    But hey, don’t take my word for it, many of the primary founders of Quantum Mechanics held that consciousness, (i.e. our sense of self), must be fundamental to any conception of reality that we may put forth, (again, however correct or incorrect that conception of reality may be.),,,”

    “The principal argument against materialism is not that illustrated in the last two sections: that it is incompatible with quantum theory. The principal argument is that thought processes and consciousness are the primary concepts, that our knowledge of the external world is the content of our consciousness and that the consciousness, therefore, cannot be denied. On the contrary, logically, the external world could be denied—though it is not very practical to do so. In the words of Niels Bohr, “The word consciousness, applied to ourselves as well as to others, is indispensable when dealing with the human situation.” In view of all this, one may well wonder how materialism, the doctrine that “life could be explained by sophisticated combinations of physical and chemical laws,” could so long be accepted by the majority of scientists.”
    – Eugene Wigner, Remarks on the Mind-Body Question, pp 167-177.

    “No, I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”
    – Max Planck (1858–1947), one of the primary founders of quantum theory, The Observer, London, January 25, 1931

    “Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else.”?
    – Schroedinger, Erwin. 1984. “General Scientific and Popular Papers,” in Collected Papers, Vol. 4. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences. Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn, Braunschweig/Wiesbaden. p. 334.?

    What I did not point out in my recent post was that modern science has now also empirically falsified the Atheistic materialist’s belief that material particles are the fundamental stuff of the world and has now validated the Christian’s claim that consciousness, or more precisely, conscious observation is more foundational to reality than material particles are.

    As the following Wheeler’s Delayed Choice experiment that was done with atoms found, ““It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,”,,, “The atoms did not travel from A to B. It was only when they were measured at the end of the journey that their wave-like or particle-like behavior was brought into existence,”,,, “Thus, this experiment adds to the validity of the quantum theory and provides new evidence to the idea that reality doesn’t exist without an observer.”

    New Mind-blowing Experiment (i.e. Wheeler’s delayed choice experiment with atoms) Confirms That Reality Doesn’t Exist If You Are Not Looking at It – June 3, 2015
    Excerpt: Some particles, such as photons or electrons, can behave both as particles and as waves. Here comes a question of what exactly makes a photon or an electron act either as a particle or a wave. This is what Wheeler’s experiment asks: at what point does an object ‘decide’?
    The results of the Australian scientists’ experiment, which were published in the journal Nature Physics, show that this choice is determined by the way the object is measured, which is in accordance with what quantum theory predicts.
    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said lead researcher Dr. Andrew Truscott in a press release.,,,
    “The atoms did not travel from A to B. It was only when they were measured at the end of the journey that their wave-like or particle-like behavior was brought into existence,” he said.
    Thus, this experiment adds to the validity of the quantum theory and provides new evidence to the idea that reality doesn’t exist without an observer.
    http://themindunleashed.org/20.....at-it.html

    And as the following falsification of ‘realism’, (i.e. ‘realism is the belief that reality exists when we are not observing it), found, “Leggett’s inequality is violated – thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it.

    Quantum physics says goodbye to reality – Apr 20, 2007
    Excerpt: Many realizations of the thought experiment have indeed verified the violation of Bell’s inequality. These have ruled out all hidden-variables theories based on joint assumptions of realism, meaning that reality exists when we are not observing it; and locality, meaning that separated events cannot influence one another instantaneously. But a violation of Bell’s inequality does not tell specifically which assumption – realism, locality or both – is discordant with quantum mechanics.
    Markus Aspelmeyer, Anton Zeilinger and colleagues from the University of Vienna, however, have now shown that realism is more of a problem than locality in the quantum world. They devised an experiment that violates a different inequality proposed by physicist Anthony Leggett in 2003 that relies only on realism, and relaxes the reliance on locality. To do this, rather than taking measurements along just one plane of polarization, the Austrian team took measurements in additional, perpendicular planes to check for elliptical polarization.
    They found that, just as in the realizations of Bell’s thought experiment, Leggett’s inequality is violated – thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it. “Our study shows that ‘just’ giving up the concept of locality would not be enough to obtain a more complete description of quantum mechanics,” Aspelmeyer told Physics Web. “You would also have to give up certain intuitive features of realism.”
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/27640

    As Physics professor Richard Conn Henry stated in response to the experimental falsification of ‘realism’ by Leggett’s inequality, “if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the “illusion” of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case, since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism”,,,

    Alain Aspect and Anton Zeilinger by Richard Conn Henry – Physics Professor – John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: Why do people cling with such ferocity to belief in a mind-independent reality? It is surely because if there is no such reality, then ultimately (as far as we can know) mind alone exists. And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the “illusion” of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case, since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism (solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist). (Dr. Henry’s referenced experiment and paper – “An experimental test of non-local realism” by S. Gröblacher et. al., Nature 446, 871, April 2007 – “To be or not to be local” by Alain Aspect, Nature 446, 866, April 2007 (Leggett’s Inequality: Violated, as of 2011, to 120 standard deviations)
    http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/aspect.html

    Thus, as far as empirical science itself is concerned, the Atheist’s belief that material particles are the fundamental stuff of the world is now falsified. And the Christian’s contention that Mind must be primary is validated.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Another piece of fairly intriguing evidence that validates the rather obvious fact that consciousness must be primary in any definition of reality that we may put forth, is the following study.

    in the following study, materialistic researchers who had a bias against Near Death Experiences being real, set out to prove that Near Death Experiences were merely ‘false memories’. They tried to prove that they were merely false memories by setting up a clever questionnaire that could differentiate which memories a person had were real and which memories a person had were merely imaginary.

    Simply put, they did not expect the results that they got (and indeed they tried to ‘explain away’ their results with rather flimsy excuses for why the results didn’t match what they had expected to find): To quote the headline ‘Afterlife’ feels ‘even more real than real”

    ‘Afterlife’ feels ‘even more real than real,’ researcher says – Wed April 10, 2013
    Excerpt: “If you use this questionnaire … if the memory is real, it’s richer, and if the memory is recent, it’s richer,” he said.
    The coma scientists weren’t expecting what the tests revealed.
    “To our surprise, NDEs were much richer than any imagined event or any real event of these coma survivors,” Laureys reported.
    The memories of these experiences beat all other memories, hands down, for their vivid sense of reality. “The difference was so vast,” he said with a sense of astonishment.
    Even if the patient had the experience a long time ago, its memory was as rich “as though it was yesterday,” Laureys said.
    http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/09/.....periences/

    Memories of Near Death Experiences (NDEs): More Real Than Reality? – Mar. 27, 2013
    Excerpt: University of Liège
    ,,,researchers,, have looked into the memories of NDE with the hypothesis that if the memories of NDE were pure products of the imagination, their phenomenological characteristics (e.g., sensorial, self referential, emotional, etc. details) should be closer to those of imagined memories. Conversely, if the NDE are experienced in a way similar to that of reality, their characteristics would be closer to the memories of real events.
    The researchers compared the responses provided by three groups of patients, each of which had survived (in a different manner) a coma, and a group of healthy volunteers. They studied the memories of NDE and the memories of real events and imagined events with the help of a questionnaire which evaluated the phenomenological characteristics of the memories. The results were surprising. From the perspective being studied, not only were the NDEs not similar to the memories of imagined events, but the phenomenological characteristics inherent to the memories of real events (e.g. memories of sensorial details) are even more numerous in the memories of NDE than in the memories of real events.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....190359.htm

    And here are a few quotes from people who have had Near Death Experiences that drive this ‘more real than real’ aspect of Near Death Experiences home,

    A Doctor’s Near Death Experience Inspires a New Life – video
    Quote: “It’s not like a dream. It’s like the world we are living in is a dream and it’s kind of like waking up from that.”
    Dr. Magrisso
    – per NBC Chicago

    “More real than anything I’ve experienced since. When I came back of course I had 34 operations, and was in the hospital for 13 months. That was real but heaven is more real than that. The emotions and the feelings. The reality of being with people who had preceded me in death.”
    – Don Piper – “90 Minutes in Heaven,” 10 Years Later – video (2:54 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/3LyZoNlKnMM?t=173

    “I was in the spiritual dimension. And this spiritual dimension, this spiritual world, that’s the real world. And this spiritual man that I was seeing and perceiving, that was the real me. And I instantly knew it. The colors are brighter. The thoughts are more intense. The feelings have greater depth. They’re more real. In the spirit world instantly I knew that this is the real world.,,,”
    – The Near Death Experience of Mickey Robinson – video (testimony starts at 27:45 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/voak1RM-pXo?t=1655

    Medical Miracles – Dr. Mary Neal’s Near Death Experience – video (More real than real quote at 37:49 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/WCNjmWP2JjU?t=2269

    Dr. Eben Alexander Says It’s Time for Brain Science to Graduate From Kindergarten – 10/24/2013
    Excerpt: To take the approach of, “Oh it had to be a hallucination of the brain” is just crazy. The simplistic idea that NDEs (Near Death Experiences) are a trick of a dying brain is similar to taking a piece of cardboard out of a pizza delivery box, rolling it down a hill and then claiming that it’s an identical event as rolling a beautiful Ferrari down a hill. They are not the same at all. The problem is the pure materialist scientists can be so closed-minded about it.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....51093.html

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    This “more real than real’ finding simply makes no sense whatsoever on the Atheist’s materialistic conception of reality. i.e. How in blue blazes is it even remotely possible for something to become ‘even more real than real’ in a worldview that holds that consciousness itself to be an illusion in the first place?

    Whereas, on the other hand, on the Judeo Christian conception of reality where it is held that the Mind of God is the source for all reality, then, of course, it is expected that the NDEs would be ‘even more real than real’ since we are, as is reported by Near Death Experiencers, in the presence of God after we die,

    As well, there are also many other lines of empirical evidence that also establish the validity of Near Death Experiences,

    The Nine Lines of Evidence by Jeffrey Long, MD. These nine lines of evidence support the reality of near-death experiences and their consistent message that there is an afterlife.
    1. Crystal-Clear Consciousness
    2. Realistic Out-of-Body Experiences
    3. Heightened Senses
    4. Consciousness During Anesthesia
    5. Perfect Playback
    6. Family Reunions
    7. Children’s Experiences
    8. Worldwide Consistency (Of note: this is the one line of evidence that I take exception to, i.e. NDEs in Judeo-Christian cultures are actually found to be profoundly different than the vast majority of non-Judeo-Christian NDEs)
    9. Aftereffects
    https://www.newdualism.org/nde-papers/Long/Long-_2012–1-2.pdf

    It is also interesting to note that there is a rather glaring hypocrisy in the evidential standards of Darwinian atheists when it comes to them accepting the reality of Near Death Experiences compared to them accepting the ‘extraordinary’ claims of Darwinian evolution.

    As brain surgeon and professor Dr. Michael Egnor explains in an article subtitled, “Putting a Darwinist’s Evidentiary Standards to the Test”, “Tens of millions of people have had such experiences. That is tens of millions of more times than we have observed the origin of species , (or the origin of life, or the origin of a protein/gene, or of a molecular machine), which is never.,,,”

    Near-Death Experiences: Putting a Darwinist’s Evidentiary Standards to the Test – Dr. Michael Egnor – October 15, 2012
    Excerpt: Indeed, about 20 percent of NDE’s are corroborated, which means that there are independent ways of checking about the veracity of the experience. The patients knew of things that they could not have known except by extraordinary perception — such as describing details of surgery that they watched while their heart was stopped, etc. Additionally, many NDE’s have a vividness and a sense of intense reality that one does not generally encounter in dreams or hallucinations.,,,
    The most “parsimonious” explanation — the simplest scientific explanation — is that the (Near Death) experience was real. Tens of millions of people have had such experiences. That is tens of millions of more times than we have observed the origin of species , (or the origin of life, or the origin of a protein/gene, or of a molecular machine), which is never.,,,
    The materialist reaction, in short, is unscientific and close-minded. NDE’s show fellows like Coyne at their sneering unscientific irrational worst. Somebody finds a crushed fragment of a fossil and it’s earth-shaking evidence. Tens of million of people have life-changing spiritual experiences and it’s all a big yawn.
    Of Note: Dr. Egnor is professor and vice-chairman of neurosurgery at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, as well as a neurosurgeon.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....65301.html

    Indeed, Darwinists simply do not have one shred of empirical evidence that unguided Darwinian processes can create any meaningful information over and above what is already present in life, (and/or already present in computer programs),

    Top Ten Questions and Objections to ‘Introduction to Evolutionary Informatics’ – Robert J. Marks II – June 12, 2017
    Excerpt: There exists no (computer) model successfully describing undirected Darwinian evolution. Period. By “model,” we mean definitive simulations or foundational mathematics required of a hard science.,,,
    We show that no meaningful information can arise from an evolutionary process unless that process is guided. Even when guided, the degree of evolution’s accomplishment is limited by the expertise of the guiding information source — a limit we call Basener’s ceiling. An evolutionary program whose goal is to master chess will never evolve further and offer investment advice.,,,
    There exists no model successfully describing undirected Darwinian evolution. Hard sciences are built on foundations of mathematics or definitive simulations. Examples include electromagnetics, Newtonian mechanics, geophysics, relativity, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, optics, and many areas in biology. Those hoping to establish Darwinian evolution as a hard science with a model have either failed or inadvertently cheated. These models contain guidance mechanisms to land the airplane squarely on the target runway despite stochastic wind gusts. Not only can the guiding assistance be specifically identified in each proposed evolution model, its contribution to the success can be measured, in bits, as active information.,,,
    ,,,we use information theory to measure meaningful information and show there exists no model successfully describing undirected Darwinian evolution.,,,
    Turing’s landmark work has allowed researchers, most notably Roger Penrose,26 to make the case that certain of man’s attributes including creativity and understanding are beyond the capability of the computer.,,,
    ,,, there exists no model successfully describing undirected Darwinian evolution. According to our current understanding, there never will be.,,,
    https://evolutionnews.org/2017/06/top-ten-questions-and-objections-to-introduction-to-evolutionary-informatics/

    And whereas Darwinian atheists have not one shred of empirical evidence that unguided Darwinian processes are capable of creating any meaningful information over and above what is already present in life, (and/or as is already present in computer programs), on the other hand Christians can validate every major facet of their beliefs.

    For instance, advances in quantum biology have now validated the Christian’s belief that there is a transcendent component to our being, i.e. a soul, that is capable of living past the death of our material bodies,

    Darwinian Materialism vs. Quantum Biology – Part II – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSig2CsjKbg

    Moreover, research in neuroscience has revealed that the immaterial mind, via its free will and intention, can have pronounced effects on the material brain, (i.e. brain plasticity).

    Jeffrey Schwartz: You Are More than Your Brain – Science Uprising Extra Content
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFIOSQNuXuY&list=PLR8eQzfCOiS1OmYcqv_yQSpje4p7rAE7-&index=9

    Moreover, whereas atheists have no observational evidence that the Multiverses that they postulated to ‘explain. away’ the fine tuning of the universe are real, nor do Atheists have any evidence that the ‘parallel universes’ that they postulated to ‘explain away’ quantum wave collapse are real, Christians, on the other hand, can appeal directly to Special Relativity, General Relativity, and Quantum Mechanics, (i.e. our most precisely tested theories ever in the history of science), to support their belief that God really does uphold this universe in its continual existence, as well as to support their belief in the reality of a heavenly dimension and in the reality of a hellish dimension.”
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/closer-to-truth-are-there-really-extra-dimensions/#comment-722947

    All in all, compared to the abject and sheer poverty in empirical evidence that Darwinian atheists have for validating their grandiose claims that unguided material processes can create meaningful, immaterial, information, Christians are literally ‘swimming in riches’ as far as empirical evidence is concerned in so far as validating their core beliefs.

    Shoot, Christianity, (which just so happens to be the worldview that gave us modern science in the first place), even provides us with a very plausible, empirically backed, solution, (via the Shroud of Turin), for the much sought after ‘Theory of Everything’:

    Jesus Christ as the correct “Theory of Everything” – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vpn2Vu8–eE

    So thus in conclusion, we find, as far as science itself is concerned, that Atheists simply have no empirical evidence whatsoever for any of their grandiose claims that all life, and all of life’s facets, (in all of its amazing, and stunning, diversity), arose via unguided Darwinian processes. (and Indeed, instead of providing any empirical evidence that the material brain can possibly generate consciousness, the author in the OP, basically, just denied the reality of the immaterial mind altogether). Whereas on the other hand, and to repeat, Christians are literally ‘swimming in riches’ as far as empirical evidence is concerned in so far as validating their core beliefs.

    The comparison between the two worldviews of Christianity and Atheism, in terms of ‘evidentiary standards’, (as Dr. Egnor termed it), is not even close.

    1 Corinthians 2:9
    But as it is written: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.”

Leave a Reply