Response to Alex Goff’s Wittgenstein’s approach to death

Alex was unable to successfully debunk my attempt to prove the existence of the human soul, partly because, my argument is heavily rooted in established science. My argument which explained how a human being interprets everything around him/her is not possible to refute, and my conclusion which posits the existence of the soul, is a logical explanation-for theists anyway.

I actually agree with a lot of what Alex says, but I cannot agree with his conclusions. Alex also alluded to the fact that one cannot prove the existence of the metaphysical, nor can one disprove it. True, but there is logical reason to believe in metaphysics.

Alex asked me in his last post to refrain from using the term ‘soul’ and use ‘consciousness’ instead, that is what I shall do. Consciousness is not something physical. Philosopher Roy Abraham Varghese reversed Descartes famous premise and said ‘I am, therefore I think.’ But who is this I? Where did consciousness come from? The conscious self (which allows us to think deeply, reflect, regret etc) cannot have been something which was passed down the evolution chain, but must have been something which spontaneously arouse, just like language, which developed without any evolutionary forerunner. The most logical answer to these questions is that it came from a source that too is conscious, aware and thinks. It could not have come from unconscious matter which is unaware of its own existence. Matter cannot produce ideas, perceptions and concepts, therefore the ‘self’ or your consciousness must have come from a living source that transcends the material world.

Philosopher Tariq Ramadan says ‘The ability to give ourselves [i.e. in love] presupposes and demands, by definition, that there really is a ‘self’ to give.’ Our ability of introspection, to reason with our inner self, our ability to transcend our egos, and self mastery, which Gandhi achieved as he suppressed all his bodily desires, cannot just be a journey pursued by the human brain but must entail something else. What is it that allows you to achieve such a spiritual existence?

Why does the human brain form intentions? Science cannot explain intentionality, nor can it really explain consciousness. Richard Dawkins in a debate called ‘Is science killing the soul’ admitted that science cannot explain consciousness ‘We don’t know. We dont understand it’ he said.

Finally, because I believe that we were created by a Creator, and that we also have a purpose, it is fair to assume that there must be accountability. If there is no afterlife, this would mean that the most evil of people would escape accountability and punishment, and the best people who have lead great lives, would not be rewarded. I believe in accountability in the afterlife not because it’s simply a nice concept, but because there must be a purpose behind creation. The idea that we were created from nothing, with no purpose, have somehow evolved into extremely intelligent, conscious and complex beings in an extremely complex universe, and will just ‘die’ is frankly, unfathomable.


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  1. I’d like to start with the question, why?
    As I read your post, this is the question that seemed to pop in to my head, over and over again.
    You say your theory can not be proved false. Maybe that’s true, maybe it isn’t, but it can’t really be proved true either can it? Just because you found a logical path, that’s no evidence. I could find a logical path to lots of bizarre ideas, none of them making it any more true.
    I’m no scientist, but I can fathom how conciousness could evolve, as can I fathom the evolution of language. A higher being is certainly not the most logical reason, its a reason, which may have some logic to it, but not the most logic.

    “Matter cannot produce ideas, perceptions and concepts, therefore the ‘self’ or your consciousness must have come from a living source that transcends the material world”

    Why? When did you make the assumption that matter can’t produce ideas, perceptions and concepts? I’d like you to prove this. The “self” does not have to come from any living source transcending the material world. You have gone out there, made a bold statement with nothing to back it up, no reason to believe it other than because you said so, and then say, based on this assumption which has no reason to be true, there must be a higher being.

    And now lets look back 100 years, 200 years, 2000 years. Lets see what science could explain in these time margins. I’m guessing 2000 years ago it wasn’t much. I’m going to guess 200 or 100 years ago it was a lot more, and I’m going to guess it’s still a lot more now. I’ll finally guess that there’s a whole lot more out there for it to explain. Just because we can’t explain something right now, does not mean we won’t ever be able to explain it. And even if it is something that we will never be able to explain, why does that mean it must be some higher being. Where does that become the be all end all?

    Your last paragraph really sort of explains itself, don’t you think? When you started it off with “because I believe that we were created by a Creator, and that we also have a purpose”. Well yes, based on those unprovable assumptions then the rest of the paragraph makes some sort of sense. But I really don’t struggle with this, not to say I’m any more intelligent, because after reading a lot of your blog posts, I am going to assume that I’m not. Why must there be a purpose? do you believe there is a purpose for any other animal? if not, why not? how is that fair. Why do you believe the bad must be punished and the good rewarded in an afterlife? Because you think it’s not fair? Well boohoo, that doesn’t make it any more true. Wanting something to be true and it actually being so are different things entirely. You say its not just because its a nice concept and that it’s because there must be a purpose behind creation. Well what if we are not created? and even if we were, who’s to say there was a purpose behind it?

    The issue I have, is that you base a lot of your faith/religious opinions on assumptions that have no reason to be true. I’m not saying your wrong but there’s no reason why you have to be right. Logic really would not suggest that there is a creator and there are so many more reasons to fault the logic of religion and creationism.

    It’s not Atheism I promote, just unbiased critical thinking.

    • An unbiased critical thinker is probably the most valued member of society (in my opinion).

      Now, your reply is replete with fallacies. What more logical explanation is there, then the idea of this intelligent creation being created by a Creator which is wise and higher than us?

      How can matter which is just a bunch of atoms and molecules, produce things like concepts and ideas? Its ludicrous to suggest it can.

      You say you kept questioning ‘why’ when reading my post. Well, what is your ‘answer’? My ultimate answer is that there is a God, a Creator, an that in my opinion, is the most logical conclusion. Maybe not yours, but what is? If you cannot provide any answers, do you just want to live the rest of your life in the hope that one day science will provide you with the answer?

      • Prefer to keep it anonymous, otherwise should we ever speak outside of these terms you might have false presumptions about my personality :) January 27, 2011 — 9:39 pm

        Can you point some out for me? I am new at this so I’m happy to admit them.

        Well your assuming that we were created (as in consciously), sure a creation has a creator but I don’t see it quite like that.

        Of course it isn’t ludicrous! It surprises me to hear you say that. I mean how many times do you think people before now have said something similar about something else which now has been explained perfectly with science. Such as the earth being 10,000 years old, the earth being the centre of the universe and who knows what else? It sounds to me quite ignorant and I’m not even sure if your being serious?

        What is my answer to what? most of the whys I have said are not of the science of it but of your thinking. You say this “must” be something and that “has to be” that. But I don’t get why they do? It’s one “logical” path, but it doesn’t have to be right at all.

        And quite the contrary, science has provided me with almost all the answers I could ever wish for. more than I would ever expect. There will always be things we can’t explain, but that’s the true beauty of the world. Not to sum it up with an unimaginative “Goddunnit” but to think “no, seriously, how did it REALLY come about? and if I never know what I personally to believe the truth, then fine but I’ll always be excited at the prospect and the mystery of the universe. That’s more beautiful than anything religion has to offer me.

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