Saturday, April 11, 2015

Why it Is Reasonable and Scientific to Consider the Soul

A 2008 article in the magazine New Scientist by Amanda Gefter criticized several Christian philosophers for rejecting a purely physicalist account of consciousness. However, Dr. Angus Menuge provides a compelling rebuttal as to why it is both reasonable and scientific to consider a human being as one who is made up of both a body and a soul:
At any given time, scientists should infer the best current explanation of the available
evidence, and right now, the best evidence from both neuroscience and rigorous philosophical analysis is that consciousness is not reducible to the physical. Churchland’s refusal to draw this inference is based not on evidence, but on what Karl Popper called "promissory materialism," a reliance on the mere speculative possibility of a materialistic explanation. Since this attitude can be maintained indefinitely, it means that even if a non-materialist account is correct (and supported by overwhelming evidence), that inconvenient truth can always be ignored. Surely the project of science should be one of following the evidence wherever it leads, not of protecting a preconceived materialist philosophy. Isn’t it that philosophy—the one that constantly changes its shape to avoid engagement with troublesome evidence, either ignoring the data or simply declaring it materialistic—that most resembles a virus?
Gorra, Joseph. "EPS Philosophers Respond to New Scientist Article On 'Creationism' and Materialism."  EPS Blog. Evangelical Philosophical Society, 23 Oct. 2008. Web. 11 Apr. 2015.

1 comment:

  1. I have come to the point where I can no longer accept the science of psychiatry as it is currently practiced. It attempts to reduce human thoughts and behaviors to chemical firings in the brain. People who misbehave aren't doing so because they are sinning--according to psychiatrists--but because of chemical imbalances in their brain. These chemical imbalances have not been proven yet, but are assumed to exist. Why? Because certain people misbehave. Circular reasoning.

    True hardcore psychiatry is based on biological determinism. I find it discouraging that many Christians accept its premises unquestioningly. We can understand the flaws with the evolutionary model that "proves" we are merely overly clever apes. Why can't we see that attributing our thoughts, feelings, and consciences to brain chemicals alone is equally erroneous?