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I'd like to know how many of you out there are secular humanists, and hear your explanation of consciousness.

The phenomenon of consciousness is a stumbling block to those that appeal to the universe being merely physical and those who seek to argue against religion. Show me how you deal with it.

9 COMMENTS

  1. I dont understand how counsciousness is a stumbling block? It isn’t any different than other natural phenomenon. Thats just how nature works. Conciousness is just part of how our brains work. It is a survival of the species kind of thing. Being able to think rationally helps us to develop our change ourselves with a changing world. But it all boils down to neurons and all that chemical stuff interacting. By no means is it a stumbling block at all, i wonder how you came to that conclusion.

  2. Consciousness has been reduced from a mystery to a problem. Where have you been? You do not need to be a secular humanist to know that.

  3. To be aware (consciousness) of the universe as a physical place does not automatically lead to a religious experience or the desire to select a particular social group who claims one.
    If, by consciousness, you mean thinking and/or self-awareness…. the same applies.

  4. A state of awareness. It implies an orientation to time, place and person, i.e. the individual knows approximately the date, the nature if the environment, name, and other pertinent personal data. The content of consciousness is a composite of memories and the comprehension of external reality, the emotional status and the individuals goals also enter. it is then a large part of that described as personality in its largest sense.

  5. It’s not nearly as big a problem as the need for a material illusion if spirituality is the real nature of existence.

  6. I began as a secular humanist in my teenage years. CHalk it up to rebellionor a rage agains the man. As I get older,I realize that earth and life arefar more intricate than any combination of single celled organizations that could havebeen. Darwin’s thero of Macrorevolution does not hold water when compared with teh fossilized remains demonstrsating microevolution. Man will eventially conceove a technology of creating human form, but will find themselvesuncapable of breathin life into the being. If you’ve ever seen a skinned deer, you will understand the breathtaking marvel that is human life. That’s just my two sense.

  7. You are pointing to the general failure of metaphysics.
    Science wants to reduce human ontology to mere biology that conforms to science’s own standards of proof.
    Religion seeks to use human consciousness as proof of a divine super-being that is both the source of truth and life.
    Both operate under tautologies. Science sets the standard for truth then claims anything unexplainable by those standards is either not true or simply an unsolved problem. Religion claims god created life and then uses life as the evidence of god’s existence.
    However, the problem is not binary. The choice is not simply between science and religion. Human consciousness could be the result of chemical reactions in the brain – but those reactions create something more than themselves.
    Similarly, our existence may point to something other than ourselves, but our attempts to grasp the nature of that something with our limited imaginations leads us to simply create a being who really is just ourselves as perfect and immortal. I’m sure many have noticed that G-d represents everything we esteem and Satan everything we despise. That probably has les to do with divine nature than our own psychology.
    So if we are more than biology – but why we cannot explain or fully understand – and if our creator is at best unknowable and possibly non-existent where does that leave us?
    It leaves us with each other right here and now. It also leaves us in an ambiguous middle ground between metaphysical systems -we cannot have definite answers to certain questions. That makes ethics the central question of human being. Not ethics in a religious-moral sense, but in terms of responsibility to one another and ourselves. It leaves us living the question of what it means to be human and creating the answer to that question each day.

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