Renowned brain psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist defends God, says atheist views of consciousness ‘wholly incoherent’

Jun 23, 2022 by

by Tola Mbakwe, Premier:

Dr. Iain McGilchrist and Dr. Sharon Dirckx discuss what both experience and science teach us about the mind/brain connection and what that can tell us about the big questions of life in episode three of “The Big Conversation,” a video podcast series from Premier Unbelievable?, produced in partnership with the John Templeton Foundation.

This episode’s conversation attempts to answer the question, “Is there a master behind our mind?”

McGilchrist is perhaps most famous for his book “The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World.” In this episode of “The Big Conversation,” he explains why he believes that consciousness is a phenomenon that points to  God, presenting a surprising critique of atheist perspectives of philosophers such as Daniel Dennett’s view that the concept of consciousness comes from a purely scientific material phenomenon.

“It’s a very basic and well-known point that not everything that matters is matter,” McGilchrist said. “Love: where do you measure that? The meaning of music: in what lab is he going to find that? I think [ Dennett’s] position is wholly incoherent; he says that consciousness is an illusion. I would point out that for it to be an illusion there would have to be a consciousness to be ‘illuded.’”

Sharon Dirckx (a speaker, author and adjunct lecturer at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics) agrees from her study of the brain that “we can be clear, from what science tells us, it gets us to a connection between the ‘mind’ and the ’brain,’ but it doesn’t speak to the nature of that connection.”

Critiquing atheists who bring their naturalistic worldview to their science, she said, “We need to be clear on when we make that leap from science and inference, and into worldview and philosophy,”.

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