Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Science and God

A formal materialist is forced to deny his own personal existence. If a purely physical description of events could explain *everything* then we only experience the illusion of choice and responsibility. In fact our actions only appear to be decided on by ourselves but, in fact, are determined by natural processes over which we have no control.

Certain amusing results can be observed from espousing materialism: a materialist believes himself not to be free and must logically deny freedom (and therefore responsibility) to everyone else as well. Yet they frequently will work hard to *persuade* you that your belief in freedom is false. How does *persuasion* work in a materialistic world?

And if it were theoretically possible to actually describe the process of a *decision* being in completely materialistic terms *who* would be making this description and to whom would they be describing it? How would *we* know that description was *true*? If being *convinced* that something is *true* is just the result of physical forces how does one distinguish *true* from *false* beliefs? Who or what stands outside this circle to pass judgment?

Enter Quantum Mechanics. In trying to describe and predict events in the atomic and sub-atomic universe it has unexpectedly introduced a severe problem for the materialist:

Does quantum physics make it easier to believe in God?:

Quantum mechanics, however, throws a monkey wrench into this simple mechanical view of things. No less a figure than Eugene Wigner, a Nobel Prize winner in physics, claimed that materialism --- at least with regard to the human mind --- is not “logically consistent with present quantum mechanics.” And on the basis of quantum mechanics, Sir Rudolf Peierls, another great 20th-century physicist, said, “the premise that you can describe in terms of physics the whole function of a human being ... including [his] knowledge, and [his] consciousness, is untenable. There is still something missing.”

Read the whole thing.

(Via New Advent.)

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