Where does the bible teach only 6000 years?
I don’t think Theism “best” explains the existence of consciousness, because it adds a mystery to our incomplete understanding of it. We don’t know if God exists or how he would create consciousness. By appealing to God as the creator of consciousness, we would be taking something that we don’t fully understand, and attempting to explain its existence by appealing to an even greater mystery.
I’m not saying God couldn’t have created consciousness, and you may have other reasons for thinking he has done so, but I am saying that appealing to God doesn’t do anything to explain it.
On the other hand, we know that the natural world is here, and that we are part of it. Consciousness seems to be a very effective tool for us to have in the natural world, and I don’t see why it is unexplainable as a purely natural phenomenon.
I’m making a very modest argument. That the existence of conscious beings is more expected on Theism than naturalism. How it was created is beyond the point. All other evidence held equal consciousness is more probable on Theism than naturalism. Very modest and most naturalist scholars would agree.
I don’t think theism explains consciousness at all. You can certainly declare by fiat that God makes consciousness exist, but I don’t see why you would expect that, and worse I certainly don’t see the explanation part.
One problem often thrown at naturalism is it’s apparent inability to explain the existence of consciousness using physics(why should particular structures of matter have conscious experiences?), and the qualitative contents of conscious experience (why does red appear to me the way it does, rather than appear as green, or some colour I can’t even imagine?). Whatever imaginary future findings of brain physics or chemisty will just be more theories about laws of actions, repulsion, attraction, and translocations of matter and energy. Why should particular complicated ensembles of these have experiences? It seems to me no amount of invoking the movements of electrons or protons could ever amount to “therefore you have the experience of the color red”.
But does theism then fare any better here? Humor me, how does theism explain these? Where is the explanation part of it? God just MAKES consciousness and we can’t fathom how? God just MAKES red appear to me like it does and we cant fathom how or why?
How is this any more, or a better explanation, than my brain just MAKES consciousness, or just MAKES red appear to me like it does, and we can’t fathom how or why?
It seems to me neither option actually predicts or explains consciousness. I think consciousness is fundamentally mysterious both in the fact that it exists, and for it’s qualitative contents, and I cannot even imagine how to account for it. Neither naturalism or theism score any points here as far as I can see.
I mean it’s Theism’s Starting point. Surely we have more reason to expect it on Theism than naturalism.
The existence of the universe as a whole? The order and complexity of it.
What is it about Gods, or universes, that make you connect the two and say universes are to be expected from Gods?
An argument to this effect I’ve heard before is that sentient beings want company, and a world with only one mind in it would be boring, so God created us(and therefore the world for us) basically out of boredom or loneliness. But boredom and the need of companionship are evolved biological instincts that exist in herd animals, you nave no a priori reason to expect a non-evolved mind to even be capable of boredom, or share any of your desires for companionship at all.
In social species that survive by cooperation and reproduce sexually by heavy investment in rearing offspring, the tendency to behave in ways that further cooperation and being part of a group/herd/tribe, and having companionship have pretty obvious fitness advantages. We desire to be intellectually and physically challenged and stimulated because it is a form of mental and physical practice that aids survival.
I don’t see why you would even expect Gods to have any desires at all. What makes you expect that, other than the fact that you yourself have them? You are taking things for granted I don’t see how you could.
Religious experiences? Beauty? I’d argue all these things are best explained on the assumption that Theism is true. No good reason to expect any of these on naturalism.
You have to invoke auxiliary hypotheses in addition to the existence of an omnipotent conscious mind to expect these on theism, radically decreasing the prior probability of God.
“Religious experiences” seem to me amalgamations of other positive experiences that aid survival and reproduction, ranging through everything from pleasure to love, awe, and wonder, connection and so on.
I can see an evolutionary explanation for basically any human desire or emotion (such as the things we find beautiful, aesthetically pleasing, and attractive (vibrant vegetation and fruit colours, symmetry, being able to see great distances, a source of water, youthful health, finding and understanding a logical pattern, or rythm, or harmony in a complex relationship), and the things we find ugly and repulsive (excrement, feces, pus, sores, exaggerated developmental abnormalities, rotting corpses, a chaotic mess/rubble), either as a direct product of natural selection, or as a byproduct other selected neurological processes, but then why should I expect a deity to share them if it did not evolve?
I don’t understand this either. What is “effective” about consciousness?
I think the issue can be concisely classified into the three points below-
- Evolution is an ateleological process while creation is teleological. Hence they are mutually exclusive processes.
- Evolution is not a process guided by an intelligence (hence it’s inefficient and wasteful). Whereas creation is the activity of an omniscient God and should be opposite in character.
- Evolution is a stochastic process which depends on unlikely accidents while creation should not depend on accidents. For example, there seems to be no logical reason for a creator to use mass extinctions to make the path for mammals… A creator could have just avoided creating dinosaurs.
@viole is the above a good summary of your argument?
By adding/subtracting the ages given for people in the bible it goes back to 6000 years ago for Adam on creation week.
The mechanism is beside the point. I’m making a very modest argument. That conscious beings makes more sense on Theism. It’s more expected when a mind is theism’s starting point. What’s naturalism’s explanation for it? Just cuz? It’s a very modest inductive argument.
Just like how a material universe favors naturalism. For naturalism to be true a material universe has to exist. Not so on Theism. So it follows a material universe is evidence for naturalism. Very modest and it has nothing to do with mechanisms
How can a being with unlimited resources, knowledge and power be wasteful? It’s only wasteful if you have limited resources
Why? Try to flesh it out, because I just don’t see it.
With no gaps?
I am only trying to clearly state @viole points to see if I clearly understood him.
We can look into the counter arguments if he agrees with how I have stated his objection.
No. Consciousness is expected on the basis of the weak anthropic principle. Saying it is an expectation of theism is ad hoc.
No. If one hypothesis has consciousness as it’s starting point, is that surprising that other conscious beings exist? No. If it exists and the competiting hypothesis says nothing about it is it surprising that it exists? Yes…
No, not even close. The Triassic–Jurassic extinction event that led to their dominance was 201 million years ago. The Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event that ended them was 66 million years ago. So it was around 135 million years. You don’t seem to have done your homework understanding the science side. What homework have you done to understand the Christian side?
Yes, that is what I have come to believe is the best explanation of the data. Where is the logical incompatibility? Exactly which law of logic do you believe this violates? If you are a happy fulfilled atheist then good for you. That you are posting questions here seems to indicate you are looking for something. What are you looking for? How can I help?
Theism can be seen as a system where consciousness/the mind is fundamental (I.e as pre-existent).
Whereas any materialistic system (including Science) would view matter and some properties of matter as fundamental.
This is a fundamental difference. A theist would expect to find a beginning to matter and it’s properties, while a materialist would need matter to exist forever in some form or the other. As of now, we know the universe had a beginning, so the discussion has gone beyond the universe to multiverses and such.
So it’s more accurate to say the fundamental nature of consciousness is an expectation of theism.
What hypotheses are we discussing here.
All hypotheses that I know about are hypothesized by conscious humans. So consciousness is a starting assumption for all of them.
Therefore it cannot predict consciousness. It cannot predict what it takes as fundamental.
That’s not how explanations work. To adopt an example from Alvin Plantinga: if you come across tractors on Mars, you deduce that there must have been humans or aliens who somehow got there and built it. You cannot say, “We have no way of understanding how these beings got there, therefore the tractors must have mysteriously appeared there naturally.”
Secondly, it’s not too great of a mystery that God could be responsible for consciousness. After all, God is supposed to be a personal and conscious being himself. It seems to make more sense that a conscious being can produce more conscious beings, compared to unconscious processes making conscious beings.
We don’t have a detailed, mechanistic, reductionist explanation of how God creates conscious beings. But why expect that such an explanation exists, when God is supposed to be a simple, immaterial being? Why do we think that immaterial things can be reduced to smaller parts like an atom being reduced to protons and neutrons? In fact, one of the central tenets of classical theism is Divine Simplicity - that God cannot be reduced to parts, otherwise he wouldn’t be God. If God cannot be reduced to parts, I doubt that the means by which He creates the world (including consciousness) can be reduced to smaller mechanisms (especially when we’re talking about consciousness, which probably also has an immaterial component).
(We don’t have such an explanation either for natural processes creating consciousness, by the way. Nor do we have such a detailed explanations for the many just-so evolutionary psychology explanations that have been brought up here and elsewhere for taking into account the existence of religion and experiences of beauty.)
It does claim that consciousness is something more than an emergent property of matter. This has deep epistemological consequences just as materialism claim that matter pre-exists all things.