Human Consciousness and Materialsim

David Limbaugh in Jesus on Trial provides an interesting two paragraphs (p. 313) on human consciousness and materialism.

Groothuis confirms what I realized instinctively: consciousness simply cannot be explained on purely physical terms. There has to be something more. He argues that there is a difference in kind between mental and physical states that has ontological implications, meaning that it bears on the very type of beings we are. ‘Even if some device could register every material property and process of the human brain,’ writes Grothuis, ‘it could not capture the consciousness itself.’ Just because the brain influences consciousness and other physical things does not mean consciousness itself is physical, ‘any more than a wooden oar that [moves] water turns water into wood.’

… Groothius replies that while science may show these relationships are existentially inseparable, ‘It would not show that they are ontologically identical.’ In other words, brain functions and consciousness can be connected, interrelated, and mutually influential, but they are two separate things. A human being ‘is made up of two substances: mind and body, neither of which is reducible to the other.’


About drjstewart

Christian, husband, father, educator, writer, and photographer.
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