Intelligent Design Mind Naturalism Religion

“We are effectively androids, though made out of carbon”?

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From The Little Book of God, Mind, Cosmos and Truth:

In an interview in the Irish Times newspaper, Dr Kevin Mitchell from Trinity College Dublin, spoke about this some years ago. He pointed out the idea “that we are effectively androids, though made out of carbon”. He says that the “mind emerges from the workings of my brain and nothing else”. If God does not exist and Naturalism is all there is, then Dr Mitchell’s views would be correct. But on theism, how can the reliability of his statement be true if it’s coming from an android made out of carbon? Surely carbon androids are primarily evolved for survival-of-the-fittest values, with truthful statements being less significant? Furthermore, an android does not have freedom of the will (it has to be programmed), is hard-wired and its behaviour would be determined to come to any given conclusion.

But how can the behaviour of nerve cells, glial cells, and the atoms, ions, and molecules that make up and influence them magically belch out the emergence of consciousness? Did Dr Mitchell employ his consciousness to denounce the existence of a separate conscious mind from the brain when he consciously chose to give the interview? This form of epiphenomenalism (mind is the brain) does not seem rational from a theistic perspective.

If epiphenomenalism is true, then how come fake drugs can work in placebo effects? Also, how can parents’ love of their children be nothing more than an electrochemical reaction in the brain? And at what point in evolution did the atoms in brains develop morals? That we can have logic, reason and truth evolving out of a material process that is aimless, purposeless, misguided and unaware of self seems absurd. Objective morality cannot be justified if all forms of indignation are nothing more than sophisticated monkey screeches emanating from a carbon android with intellectual delusions of grandeur.

There probably can’t be a good theory of consciousness because naturalism excludes it.

See also: Books of interest: “Without God, we would be nothing more than evolved slime fighting for survival”

and

Would we give up naturalism to solve the hard problem of consciousness?

3 Replies to ““We are effectively androids, though made out of carbon”?

  1. 1
    Dionisio says:

    Between a rock and a hard place?

    Philosopher David Chalmers on consciousness, the hard problem and the nature of reality

    By Daniel Keane

    ABC News Australia

    Professor Chalmers, who was born in Sydney and brought up in Adelaide, today works out of New York University and is one of the world’s pre-eminent philosophers of mind, best known for breathing new life into an old conundrum.

    He calls it the hard problem of consciousness.

    Simply put, the hard problem asks the following question: how can the machinery of the brain (the neurons and synapses) produce consciousness — the colours that we see, for example, or the sounds that we hear?

    Look at a brain scan and you will see nothing resembling consciousness. Brains, in fact, do not appear particularly remarkable — which makes the fact that they are even more exceptional.

    “The really hard problem of consciousness is the problem of experience,” Professor Chalmers wrote in a landmark 1995 paper. “When we think and perceive, there is a whir of information-processing, but there is also a subjective aspect.”

    “It is widely agreed that experience arises from a physical basis, but we have no good explanation of why and how it so arises. Why should physical processing give rise to a rich inner life at all? It seems objectively unreasonable that it should, and yet it does.”

    In short, why should moving parts produce perception and sensation? And why should only brains (as far as we know) be responsible for consciousness?

    It seems that there is a hole in our scientific picture of the world, what philosopher Joseph Levine called an “explanatory gap”.

    When I spoke to Professor Chalmers ahead of his recent talk at the Australasian Association of Philosophy, he went so far as to call the hard problem “the number one unanswered scientific challenge of our time”.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/201.....ss/8679884

  2. 2
    Dionisio says:

    Philosophy between a rock and a hard place?
    The article referenced @1 is filled with so much nonsense.

  3. 3
    Origenes says:

    He says that the “mind emerges from the workings of my brain and nothing else”. If God does not exist and Naturalism is all there is, then Dr Mitchell’s views would be correct.

    If naturalism is true, then, obviously, Dr Mitchell’s view that naturalism is true is correct. However, the question is: ‘can naturalism be true, given the fact that we have a rational mind?’

    But on theism, how can the reliability of his statement be true if it’s coming from an android made out of carbon?

    This question can be asked without reference to theism. As a matter of fact I do not see what theism has to do with it.

    Surely carbon androids are primarily evolved for survival-of-the-fittest values, with truthful statements being less significant? Furthermore, an android does not have freedom of the will (it has to be programmed), is hard-wired and its behaviour would be determined to come to any given conclusion.

    Correct. And if naturalism is true, then whatever it is that determines a conclusion is a non-rational cause. So, under naturalism, we cannot trust our reason and therefore we have no reason to trust the belief that naturalism is true. IOWs naturalism is self-defeating.

    But how can the behaviour of nerve cells, glial cells, and the atoms, ions, and molecules that make up and influence them magically belch out the emergence of consciousness? Did Dr Mitchell employ his consciousness to denounce the existence of a separate conscious mind from the brain when he consciously chose to give the interview? This form of epiphenomenalism (mind is the brain) does not seem rational from a theistic perspective.

    Epiphenomenalism does not seem rational (period). Again, the reference to theism is uncalled for.

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