A new proof of God: The argument from The Matrix

On his blog, Professor Jerry Coyne refutes some assertions made by Dr Bernardo Kastrup about God, consciousness and theology.

Dr Kastrup argues 1) that the Universe is the reflection of God’s consciousness, 2) that theology should be seen as an attempt to plumb God’s consciousness in scientific terms; and 3) that there is no reality independent of our human consciousness (a view shared by for example Deepak Chopra).

Or in Dr Kastrup’s own words, “After all, nature — from atoms to galaxy clusters — is an image of God’s mental activity, just like a brain scan is an image of a person’s subjective experiences.”

To that Professor Coyne responds in the following way; i) “[T]he universe preceded the evolution of consciousness of its creatures”, ii) “[W]e can make and test hypotheses about what it was like. The fact that some of those hypotheses are verified tells us that there was a universe before we knew of it, and it had properties that were independent of our consciousness.”

About Dr Kastrup’s claim that theology has valid methods for understanding God’s “consciousness” by studying the creation act as seen in Nature, Professor Coyne says, That’s Natural Theology, a discipline that became obsolete with Darwin, though it has had a revival of sorts with arguments about “fine tuning” and “The Moral Law”.

And finally Professor Coyne chooses to quote what Voltaire once said, De plus, l’intérêt que j’ai à croire une chose n’est pas une preuve de l’existence de cette chose. Or, in English, The interest I have in believing in something is not a proof that the something exists.

To find more of Professor Coyne’s persuasive and compelling refutation arguments, read his blog article in extenso.

Why Evolution Is True

Well, there’s this website whose name (which includes “Science and Nonduality”) has some strange characters in it, so I’ll just give a screenshot that links to the site:

Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 7.00.10 AMPart of the site’s aim is to “ignite the dialogue between science and spirituality,” which already erects my fur.

And on that site, someone named Bernardo Kastrup has decided to go after my view that studying theology is a useless endeavor. I agree with Dan Barker that it’s a “subject without an object,” a thesis I discussed a while back.

Kastrup, who was trained as a scientist (see below) but then jumped the rails and abandoned materialism, has decided that I’m dead wrong—that theology has an object after all, and that he can prove it. He tries to do so in a post called “In defense of theology: a reply to Jerry Coyne.” It’s one of the most convoluted arguments for God I’ve ever…

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Filed under Consciousness, Evolution, Science

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