Things that can be proven and can't be proven (by "proof" I mean very likely probabilistically):
- The creedal claims of Christianity are untrue; this, provable by science, archaeology, historical analysis, and document analysis.
- Having some sort of Christian doctrine of inerrancy which allows for Biblical errors and mere eyewitness-account accuracy; this view is incoherent. It must assume every event had a witness, and those that didn't were revealed by the Holy Spirit and therefore have no errors. (But why would God allow some events, those having eyewitness testimony, to have errors?)
- Revealed religions and revealed spiritual paths are not trustworthy sources of truth and knowledge.
- Science claims are true, when having sufficient experimental and observational evidence. But note that science is based on philosophy: (1) the scientific method, as well as (2) epistemology.
- Science is performed by human minds. It's weird that minds created by brains study the universe (including brains).
- Even some well-known atheists agree that the existence of God can't be disproven. But they agree God is highly unlikely to exist.
- It's hard to imagine how the subjective experience of consciousness with its contents is produced by brain function. It seems to be distinct from physical phenomena. Ditto for the mind and its contents. (But refer to my conclusions.)
- Consciousness is tightly coupled with the brain, so it is sensible to assume that the brain generates consciousness.
- Things having purpose or teleonomy or teleology (such as: (1) changes in the universe as time progresses, (2) origin of life, (3) evolution); these seem to require an intelligent designer of some sort. But to allow communication between the physical world and this intelligent designer in a manner which avoids violating the laws of nature; this defies explanation. (My explanation seems unlikely.) This applies to all aspects of the universe commonly called emergent properties.
- The fact the universe exists, weird as it is, seems to require a creator God. (But refer to my conclusions.)
- Since evil, pain, and suffering exist in the universe in conscious creatures; this implies God is evil. Having a God like this contradicts the reason for having a God at all. God must be good and beautiful to be God.
- In conclusion: while it is tempting to want to believe in God and a soul having a mind residing in the spiritual realm, this conclusion seems unwarranted. People argue whether to call this atheism or agnosticism or antitheism or naturalism or non-theism; but whatever — it must be correct.
- Whether there is or isn't a God makes no difference at all; this, because prayer doesn't work, miracles don't occur, and believers usually arbitrarily determine whether God did such and such event or whether it happened on its own.
- Possibly belief in God is dangerous to self and society for reasons noted by the well-known atheists (my favorite being Christopher Hitchens).
Things that seem true; that prompt postulating a spiritual realm (mind-body dualism):
- Atheistic science doesn't adequately explain consciousness. There is no natural law called "consciousness" and no quantum field called "consciousness".
- The analogy of a poem (for example) as ink on the page. The universe is the ink, a living entity is the contents of the poem. Materialism/physicalism can't explain the existence of poems.
- How can the universe generate conscious rational organisms capable of discovering the functioning of the universe? It seems there must be something (someone, the soul) outside (in the spiritual realm) looking in.
- Mere randomness doesn't seem sufficient to explain all the marvelous feats of engineering of biological organisms. But proposing an intelligent designer means he/she is responsible for all the suffering experienced by the conscious creatures he/she created.
- What is the distinction between science and philosophy? Is all knowledge part of science? For example, is the economic principle of "supply and demand" science?
- If there is a God who is good and beautiful, where did evil, pain, and suffering come from?
- If there is a soul, how does it solve problems without our being aware of this? (For example, when you suddenly realize the answer to a problem you were working on.) And how is the soul larger in scope than our conscious experience? (For example, when asleep, the soul still exists.)
- Why is consciousness so tightly coupled with the brain? If there is life after death, what kind of sudden shift occurs such that, suddenly we are conscious without being confined to brain functioning?
- Is the universe conscious in some way? Are plants conscious? Are single-celled organisms conscious? Is a planet conscious? A rock?
- The scope and limits of science.
- The universe is described by mathematics.
- The absurdity of the conscious soul being provided with such poor quality information from the senses filtered and processed by the brain. Also, mistakes of memory. And bad thinking caused by imbalances of hormones.
- The fact that scientists describe evolution as if we can know its purpose. Sometimes thinking that these invented explanations are true.
- Atheists spend a lot of time refuting the Christian view of God. But since Christianity is provably false, there is no need to do this.
Before arriving at my conclusions, here's what I postulate:
- Mind is based on the brain, but mind is not merely physical; it has a spiritual component.
- If there is no spiritual realm, how is it possible for two conscious humans to both have such similar experiences and ideas about reality? If each qualia is a program in the brain, how is it possible that all brains share such a huge number of identical qualia? Seems that better explanations are: (1) the souls tap into these qualia in a repository in the spiritual realm (Plato's forms), or (2) the soul guides the neurons during development, "pulling" them into position. They are the same because they are from the same source.
- The fact that ideas, which are nonmaterial, are used to describe the universe. This implies there is a nonmaterial realm, a spiritual realm (mind-body dualism.)
- The fact that the universe having conscious creatures exists at all implies a spiritual reality.
- How can programs running in the brain be created via evolution? It seems that during development of the brain, something knowing the final state of the connections must be guiding the development process in some way.
- The existence of randomness in quantum mechanics. Too weird. These must be guided by a free will creature.
- Consciousness and science/quantum mechanics are related. I think consciousness in some way uses quantum mechanics in manifesting via communication to/from the spiritual realm.
- Consciousness and mind reside in the spiritual realm, not the physical realm (the universe).
- Teleonomic (seeming to have purpose) and teleological (created by a sentient creature for a purpose). Seems that both these kinds of purposes are clearly real and, therefore non-material. These purposes reside in the spiritual realm and are designed and created by sentient creatures: God, intelligent designer, humans, and other teleological animals.
- Is everything (including the universe) alive?
I listen to talks on the internet and find lots about these:
- Atheists and skeptics demonstrating that: (1) the claims of religions are false, (2) religious belief is harmful for society and individuals, and (3) there is no evidence for God.
- Scientists excitedly sharing knowledge of science.
- Religious and spiritual adherents promoting their views.
- Nondualists who believe consciousness is the basis for all reality.
- Materialist/physicalist scientists and philosophers claiming consciousness is from the brain via: (1) illusion, (2) emergent property, (3) process or functioning.
I find only few about these — and this is the gap (which are the subjects of this website):
- God as derived from philosophical reflection.
- Consciousness with its contents from the perspective of mind-body dualism (two realms: physical realm and spiritual realm).
- The seeming purposefulness of the universe and its contents. Why are us living conscious creatures here?
- Intelligent design with consideration of the radical implications.
- All of the above assuming science to be trustworthy.
Index of Topics
Two-way communication between soul and body
Problems with this: extreme micromanagement
Soul reads brain state
Purpose, teleonomy, teleology
Certain key articles have summaries with random button to others: