4 - 7 minute read
The article “Evidence of God’s Existence: The Argument from Human Consciousness” by Angelo Stagnaro makes the claim that the existence of human consciousness proves the existence of God and the soul. However, this argument is flawed and relies on several logical fallacies. In this article, we will address these fallacies and scientific inaccuracies, and provide alternative explanations for the existence of human consciousness.
Argument from Personal Incredulity
One of the main fallacies in the article is the argument from personal incredulity, which is the idea that something cannot be true because it is not understood or cannot be explained. The author asserts that “since consciousness can’t be observed, measured or explained, it must therefore not be real” (Stagnaro). This is a flawed argument because the limitations of science do not prove or disprove the existence of something. Just because something is currently not understood or explainable does not mean that it is not real or that it cannot be understood in the future.
The Argument from Ignorance
Another fallacy in the article is the argument from ignorance, which is the idea that something must be true because it has not been proven false. The author asserts that “the fact that I’m writing this, and readers are reading it, means consciousness exists” and “the fact that we’re discussing this topic proves it exists” (Stagnaro). However, this is a flawed argument because the absence of evidence is not evidence of something’s existence. The lack of a scientific explanation for consciousness does not prove that the soul or God exist.
The Appeal to Emotion
The article also relies on an appeal to emotion, which is an attempt to persuade through the use of emotions rather than logical reasoning. The author suggests that materialists become “fretful” and “angried” when discussing consciousness, implying that their emotional response is evidence for the existence of the soul and God (Stagnaro). This is a flawed argument because emotions do not provide evidence for or against the existence of something.
The False Dilemma
The author presents a false dilemma by stating that “the only explanation for consciousness is either the materialistic model or the existence of the soul and God” (Stagnaro). However, this statement ignores the possibility that there may be other explanations or a combination of explanations for the existence of consciousness. It is not necessary to choose between only two options when there may be more possibilities to consider.
Inaccuracies of the Science
There are also several scientific inaccuracies. The author suggests that the laws of physics cannot explain consciousness, but this is not necessarily true. While consciousness is a complex and poorly understood phenomenon, there are scientific theories that attempt to explain it, such as the idea that consciousness arises from the interactions and organization of neurons in the brain.
They also suggests that the Human Genome Project has not identified a gene responsible for consciousness, but this is not accurate. While the specific genes and mechanisms involved in consciousness are still being studied and understood, there is evidence that genetics plays a role in the development of consciousness.
Rather than positing the existence of the soul and God as the explanation for consciousness, there are alternative scientific explanations that can be considered. One hypothesis is that consciousness arises from the complex interactions and organization of neurons in the brain. This hypothesis is supported by evidence from neuroscience research, such as brain imaging studies that have shown correlations between brain activity and conscious experience (Dehaene & Changeux, 2011).
Another hypothesis is that consciousness is an emergent property of complex systems, such as the human brain. This theory suggests that consciousness arises from the collective behavior of many simple units, such as neurons, working together (Tononi & Koch, 2015) (Baars, 2005).
- The argument relies on several logical fallacies, including the argument from personal incredulity, the argument from ignorance, the appeal to emotion, and the false dilemma.
- The article also contains scientific inaccuracies, such as the claim that the laws of physics cannot explain consciousness and that the Human Genome Project has not identified a gene responsible for consciousness.
- Alternative scientific explanations for the existence of consciousness should be considered, rather than positing the existence of the soul and God as the explanation.
The arguments presented in the article “Evidence of God’s Existence” are flawed and rely on several logical fallacies and scientific inaccuracies. While the existence of consciousness is a complex and poorly understood phenomenon, there are alternative scientific explanations that can be considered. It is not necessary to posit the existence of the soul and God as the explanation for consciousness. Rather, we should continue to study and research the various theories and explanations for the existence of consciousness in order to better understand this phenomenon.
- Baars, B. J. (2005). Global workspace theory of consciousness: Toward a cognitive neuroscience of human experience. Progress in Brain Research, 150, 45-53.
- Dehaene, S., & Changeux, J. P. (2011). Experimental and theoretical approaches to conscious processing. Neuron, 70(2), 200-227.
- Tononi, G., & Koch, C. (2015). Consciousness: Here, there and everywhere? Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 370(1668), 20140167.