Does human conciousness "prove" that God exists?



I'm aware this question assumes our universe isn't an infinite regression. The logic is as follows:

A is the source of everything. B exists. B came from A. Therefore B is an attribute of A.

A being the absolute source to our universe here ( A could be 2 universes colliding in the multiverse, some higher dimensional structure, etc. Just some type of outside source that was able to "cause" the Big Bang ). And B is consciousness.

If someone observes consciousness to exist in our universe (specifically high level consciousness in humans - but any conscious being works here). And this person also believes the universe clearly has an ultimate source; does this then:

1) Mean this person has to accept that consciousness came from this ultimate source,

2) And does this mean that consciousness had to be an attribute of this ultimate source? (meaning this source has to also posses consciousness because conscious beings came from it)?

The point of this question is to find if someone believes both an ultimate First Cause to the universe and doesn't buy into the infinite regress school of thought - does this mean they are also admitting that their "first cause" had to be a conscious and sentient being? Why?

Aruyn Dregh

Posted 2020-04-18T06:30:49.690

Reputation: 21


No and no. "B came from A. Therefore B is an attribute of A" is fallacious, birds come from eggs, but eggs do not have wings. Identifying the first cause with God is a well-known non-sequitur of the cosmological argument, see SEP. It is usually interpreted as an inference to the best explanation for those who already believe in human-like God, so using it as an argument for his existence is circular.

– Conifold – 2020-04-18T08:43:43.107

The argument might work for a fundamental consciousness, but God would still be an optional speculation. . – None – 2020-04-18T12:24:10.223

@Conifold What specific fallacy might this be? The closest I found was Affirming the consequent. Your example about birds and eggs doesn't seem to work because birds bird wings would nor exist. And the link you provided seems to argue against the God of a religion which i'm not mentioning here. I'm referring to God as strictly a cause to the Big Bang here, not one as described by any religion. Apologies if my question was not clear enough.

– Aruyn Dregh – 2020-04-18T19:48:10.977

@PeterJ Perhaps the word "God" is misused here and I didn't devote enough time in the question to explain I am meaning specifically a fundamental consciousness not attached to any specific religion. Do you think then, that this argument stands with God defined that way? – Aruyn Dregh – 2020-04-18T19:51:52.013

3You got a wrong idea about this. If you think an argument works you have to explain why its inferences are valid, not ask others to explain the why they are fallacious. Not all of fallacies have special names, btw, there is too much fallacy out there to name it all. If eggs without wings produce birds with wings I do not see why something inanimate can not produce something "conscious". And it makes no difference whether it is "God of a religion" or something else "conscious" or "unconscious", none of that is implied by being the first cause. – Conifold – 2020-04-18T21:23:32.997

@Conifold Whatever is inside the egg has all the attributes of the source. It may not have physical wings yet but the instructions for growing wings are written in its DNA. You have to explain why this is a fallacy if you assert it as such, just as the onus would fall back on me if i were to assert this argument as working. However I'm of the camp of not being sure. ( I apologize about my first comment it was an incoherent mess, I was in a rush and forgot to re-read and edit it ) – Aruyn Dregh – 2020-04-18T21:43:08.403

2Your first two sentences contradict each other. If the egg "does not have physical wings" then it does not have "all the attributes" of a bird. Any natural law is an "instruction" for how a system evolves. Aminoacids have "instructions" for making something alive, and apes for making humans, so the "absolute source" can have those "instructions", and still be as blank as they are inanimate or non-human. Having "instructions" does not help, this anthropomorphic language already presupposes its anthropomorphic conclusions, so the reasoning is circular. – Conifold – 2020-04-18T21:57:53.433

1@AruynDregh - I feel your argument basically works. Clearly consciousness is present in the Source at least as a potential. Whether consciousnesss can emerge from matter is much debated but as nobody can figure out how this would be possible even in principle I'd say your argument is reasonable. Underneath the details Penrose puts a roughly similar argument. But, so it seems, there is no logic that can finally prove that consciousness is not a product of matter (or even exists). Chalmers' arguments have failed to change many minds on this issue. – None – 2020-04-19T10:58:40.540

@AruynDregh How would you rule out that the natural world didn't contain "instructions" for consciousness which themselves were not conscious; the same way the egg contained "instructions" for wings which themselves are not wings? – JMac – 2020-04-20T14:35:02.817



You can find something like that in Descartes, Meditations, III :

(1) I am aware of myself.

(2) And in particular, I am aware of doubting, having desires, ignoring many things, etc.

(3) So I am aware of myself as an imperfect being.

(4) Hence, my self awareness requires the idea of perfection, and therefore, of absolute perfection ( for imperfection is a derivative concept).

(5) But it is not possible that I be the cause of this idea: the cause has to be at least as perfect as the effect.

(6) Only a perfect being can be the cause of the idea of perfection I have in my mind.

(7) Therefore, God exists.


Posted 2020-04-18T06:30:49.690


1Very similar to the ontological argument, with the same flaws. What distinguishes the concept of perfection from that of the unicorn? – curiousdannii – 2020-05-27T14:19:26.470

The concept of unicorn is the concept of a substance while the concept of perfecton is the concept of a quality. – None – 2020-05-28T17:57:20.377