Thank you for visiting Biola’s Center for Christian Thought. This site is not being updated on a regular basis while we are developing new projects for the future. In the meantime, please continue to enjoy the videos, podcasts and articles currently available on the site.

The Table Video

J.P. Moreland

What is Consciousness? - J.P. Moreland

Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University
May 1, 2013

J.P. Moreland (Biola University) comments on the nature of consciousness, suggesting that consciousness is immaterial, ultimately finding its origin in God.



[elegant music]

Consciousness is not physical. Consciousness is spiritual. It’s immaterial, you might say. Now we all know you can’t really pull a rabbit out of a hat. When a magician claims to pull a rabbit out of the hat, we know that there had a rabbit in the hat to begin with. Now why is that? Well, because you can’t get something out of nothing. You can’t have nothing there and all of a sudden, presto, a rabbit appears. By the same token, if you start with matter from the Big Bang and all you do is rearrange it according to the laws of chemistry and physics, you’re not gonna be able to get a conscious rabbit out of that material hat. You’ll end up with a very complicated hat but there won’t be a rabbit. What we want to say as Christian theists, at least my own view is that the reason consciousness exists is because we started with a rabbit that is a great big rabbit, namely God, who is Himself conscious, and we don’t have to pull a rabbit out of an empty hat and explain how you get consciousness from matter because there never was such a thing as just pure matter. God always existed. [elegant music]