consciousness - emergent

Isn’t Consciousness An Emergent Property?

How To Disprove God

If someone were to ask me to disprove God in the most succinct way possible, I would say:

“Consciousness is an emergent property.”
~ Dorian Greer

But a few days ago I was watching a video (private link – sorry) from The Quantum Activist where a certain Dr. Amit Goswami, based on a few experiments using meditation and EEG machines connected to the participants, came to many supernatural conclusions. One of those conclusions was that “consciousness is the primacy of existence.”

He concluded that matter sprang from consciousness, and not the other way around. This, of course, was a contradiction to my “disproof” of God.

Of course, the experiments were very poor, and his conclusion consisted of one leap of faith after another, but it surprised me that anyone would think that “first there was consciousness, AND THEN everything came afterward from that consciousness.”

So, I’m posing the question to a G+ Christian Apologist group, as follows:

I am posting and asking this as a “truth seeker” but do not make the faith statement described as “Christian.”

My question is as follows:

Q: How would you go about proving that consciousness is not an emergent property?

A bit of background and context about the question follows.

The Short Version:
If matter/energy does not exist in advance, from whence does consciousness arise?

The Long Version:
Consciousness (or being-ness) appears to be an emergent property of complex synergies requiring a body, a neural network, sense receptors, a processor, and stimuli (something to be aware OF).

Even with all these things, a synergy must come together emerging as a self-awareness for consciousness to arise. (A dead body can have all the parts, but no synergy takes place for an emergence of consciousness.)

Thus, if consciousness is not an emergent property, then it exists independently of everything we know as necessary for consciousness in the form of a being.

This means it does not require: senses, means of memory, data storage and processing, self, energy/matter (otherwise it would be localized); while still existing as awareness with “powers” to act intelligently and creativity with “purpose!”

If consciousness is the “necessary state” of being, absent everything else (in existence), from whence does it arise? And how does one demonstrate this?

And if consciousness is in fact the primary and “necessary (non-contingent) state,” without the need for a body, then why don’t we have an ever-continuing memory from the moment of our existence? Why do we lose consciousness?

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The Proper Scrutiny of Beliefs

The short story on religious faith can be summed up in two words: “epistemically invalid.”

Faith has no claim on truth, neither empirically nor spiritually. So the real problem when discussing matters of religion is not so much the “content” of the subject, but the veracity of the content offered for belief. To bridge that gap in any religious discussion, one mustn’t make the content of the subject the issue, but rather the “application of critical thought” TO the content being discussed, as the issue.

For example, one should not discuss whether Jonah (biblical story) really got swallowed and carried to a distant destination by a big fish. A believer of the story will suspend disbelief regardless what evidence contradicts the possibility (because in matters of faith, facts don’t matter). But rather, the discussion with the believer should be HOW that process happened, considering gastric acids, lack of air, suspension of digestion, etc., in order to duplicate, or make possible, the event.

It may not “feel” as satisfactory as winning an argument, but it causes – in the mind of the persons discussing it – a common area of examination where “magic” is ruled out in place of scientific (or empirical) method. Because, the moment someone mentions “magic” or something along the lines of “God can do anything, so it doesn’t have to happen scientifically,” the reply immediately questions that response along the lines of: “if magic was used, then God would not have required the fish in the first place. If God uses a tool, it’s for the utility of the tool in the place of magic.” And once again we can eliminate any necessity for magic.

Keeping critical thinking AS the subject, and not the content or the event being discussed, wins the long-run! You see, few kids figured out Santa wasn’t real, until some other person said in surprise, “You still believe in Santa Claus?” This did not come in the form of winning of an argument, but rather it CAUSED a volley of critical thought on the part of the believer to actually examine those beliefs in the light of reason! The person must do that on their own.

“A man convinced against his will
Is of the same opinion still”
~ Dale Carnegie

This is why, at least in matters of faith, the subject of the topic should never be whether the story is true, but rather the application of critical thought applied (by both sides) on HOW (or what makes) the story true in the absence of magic. You see, even magic requires a process; otherwise there is no necessity for intervening events (like why suspend the sun so a man can win a battle, when magic necessitates no need for a battle in the first place).