Consciousness and Meaning

“Scientific materialism, taken to its extreme, threatens us with meaninglessness; if consciousness is reducible to the brain and our actions are determined not by will but by causes, then our values and beliefs are merely rationalizations for the things we were going to do anyway. Most people find this view of human life repugnant, if not incomprehensible.

In her recent book of essays, ‘The Givenness of Things,’ Marilynne Robinson rejects the materialist view of consciousness, arguing for the existence of the human soul by insisting that the soul’s metaphysical character makes it impervious to materialist arguments. The soul, writes Robinson, is an intuition that ‘cannot be dispelled by proving the soul’s physicality, from which it is aloof by definition. And on these same grounds, its nonphysicality is no proof of its nonexistence.'” (Roy Scranton “We’re Doomed. Now What?”)

Leave a Reply