Reports

Mapping Chaplaincy in Norfolk: A Report

Chaplains are increasingly the face of public religion. This report explores the chaplaincy landscape in Norfolk.

Forthcoming Events

Modern fiction and Gospel truth: can good stories tell a godly story?

Dr Paula Gooder and George Pitcher will discuss the nature and purpose of story-telling, from the gospels to contemporary fiction, in an attempt to illuminate the relationship between truth and fiction.

Religion in the Media

Existence of God: Professor's argument from mathematics for human consciousness

19th May 2017

Interested by this? Share it on social media. Join our monthly e-newsletter to keep up to date with our latest research and events. And check out our Friends Programme to find out how you can help our work.


"Like the laws of mathematics, consciousness has no physical presence in the world; the images and thoughts in our consciousness have no measurable dimensions.

Yet, our nonphysical thoughts somehow mysteriously guide the actions of our physical human bodies. This is no more scientifically explicable than the mysterious ability of nonphysical mathematical constructions to determine the workings of a separate physical world.

Until recently, the scientifically unfathomable quality of human consciousness inhibited the very scholarly discussion of the subject. Since the 1970s, however, it has become a leading area of inquiry among philosophers.

Recognising that he could not reconcile his own scientific materialism with the existence of a nonphysical world of human consciousness, a leading atheist, Daniel Dennett, in 1991 took the radical step of denying that consciousness even exists.

Finding this altogether implausible, as most people do, another leading philosopher, Thomas Nagel, wrote in 2012 that, given the scientifically inexplicable – the “intractable” – character of human consciousness, “we will have to leave [scientific] materialism behind” as a complete basis for understanding the world of human existence.

As an atheist, Nagel does not offer religious belief as an alternative, but I would argue that the supernatural character of the workings of human consciousness adds grounds for raising the probability of the existence of a supernatural god."


Robert H. Nelson | Read the full article at The Independent

Image available under this Creative Commons Licence