Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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In the News: Consciousness & God

ImageA common question in science and common theme of science fiction is the potential of robots to become sufficiently complex to become conscious. That is, have self-awareness. In a sense, it would mean that they are alive, would have self-will, and (as happens often in Sci-Fi novels and shows) perhaps would rise up in revolt against mankind (cf. Terminator, among others). Like I said, science fiction.

There is a theory out there about how the brain works, called Quantum Brain Dynamics (it’s a real theory). It states that our brains not only give us the ability to hear, see, taste, feel, etc., — our brains also use quantum mechanics to create consciousness in us.

Such theories abound as men try to explain the universe without acknowledging a divine creator. In simple terms, quantum mechanics is a discipline that developed as men began to explore and quantify behavior on the atomic and subatomic level. Other disciplines, such as classical physics, could not account for the complex behavior of very small things.

Interestingly, the more we examine life and the universe, the more complex it proves to be. Both in the varied types of matter, and the interaction of physical things. In the case of Quantum Brain Dynamics, theorists state that if this is how consciousness occurs, the phenomenon is too complex to be duplicated by man. So, we need not fear a future Robotic revolt. Mankind is saved!

When I read about these kinds of theories, it amazes me how such acknowledgments are accompanied by an obvious logical disconnect. How can there be the formation of a natural phenomenom as complex as human consciousness without intelligent direction; while the combined intelligence of mankind is incapable of either duplicating it, or offering a reasonable facsimile of it?

That question is never asked. It is simply unacceptable to posit a supernatural explanation of the existence of consciousness, because that would be “unscientific.” As always, my response is that it is not unscientific if it is true! There is a limit to what Physics can explain. Ultimately, some things can only be fully accounted for by delving into the “metaphysical realm” (their phrase) – i.e. FAITH!

Why is it that man has consciousness? Simply, it was granted to him by God. “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:26-27).

The consciousness of man is explained by these words, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7). No, these verses are not scientific, but they are accurate and true.

Our view is described as the teleological argument. It is a simple concept (though definitely not simplistic). Design is evident in the universe. Since design exists, there must be a Designer behind it. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Our example is a vivid one. Men can’t create consciousness, they are not smart or powerful enough to do so. However, it exists. It exists because of a Higher Power. It exists because God exists.