Douglas Groothuis

Defending Christian Faith, October 12, 2004




part 4



The heavens declare the glory of God;

the skies proclaim the work of his hands

(Psalm 19:1)



VI.       The Argument for God From the Existence of the Mind.  For more on the arguments for dualism, see J.P. Moreland and Scott Rae, Body and Soul  (InterVarsity Press, 2000), Part 1.  (continued)


F.         Problems with mind/body physicalism particularly


1.         Distinctiveness of mental and physical properties (discrepant properties)


2.         Private access and incorrigibility


3.         The experience of first-person subjectivity (qualia)


4.         Secondary qualities


5.         Intentionality


6.         Personal identity


7.         Morality, responsibility, and punishment


G.        Mind/body physicalism as self-refuting because it cannot support rationality


1.         Intentionality is required for rationality


2.         Immaterial mental realities (propositions, laws of logic, reasons, etc.) must exist and affect the mind


3.         We need rational insight (not just have material processes) for rationality


4.         Need a continuity of personal identity for rationality


5.         Need libertarian freedom (power of contrary choice) for rationality


     Alternative: Need moral agency to be grounded in a personal, theistic worldview (which maybe compatibilist, not libertarian)


H.        The emergence of mind (since it exists and physicalism is false)


1.         Naturalistic/emergent accounts (epiphenomenal): something comes from nothing without a designing intelligence. Blood from a stone.


2.         Theistic/dualistic accounts: the divine mind creates human minds in his image (Genesis 1:26). Like comes from like.


     For other treatments of design arguments see, Stephen T. Davis, God, Reason, and Theistic Proofs (Eerdmans, 1997); C. Stephen Evans, Philosophy of Religion (InterVarsity, 1985); Richard Swinburne, Is There a God? (Oxford, 1996); Robin Collins, “A Scientific Argument for the Existence of God: The Fine-Tuning Design Argument,” in Michael Murray, ed., Reason for the Hope Within (Eerdmans, 1999), 47 – 75.