The existence of mind as evidence against naturalism

I agree with [Thomas] Nagel that mind is not a cosmic accident. Mind in all of its ramifications (sentience, intentionality, self-awareness, cognition, rationality, normativity in general) could not have arisen from mindless matter…

Materialism cannot explain the origin of life from inanimate matter, the origin of consciousness from pre-conscious life, or the origin of reason in conscious beings. Nondeistic theism can explain these crucial transitions by means of divine interventions into the workings of nature. (Deism would leave the crucial transitions as brute facts and is rejectable for this reason.)

My two cents

en: Phenomenal consciousness and functional co...
Phenomenal consciousness and functional consciousness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Recently I’ve been reading about the terms ‘brain’ and ‘mind’.  I suppose normal people tend to treat these interchangeably, but this quote starts to draw out the differences—while stepping on naturalism and discarding a vaguely defined deism.

By process of elimination, I suppose the front-runner is theism (with Abrahamic religion being the prime example). Thank God for that.  I have recently been debating an atheist and I would like to see his explanation for the naturalistic/materialistic origin of sentience and intentionality.

I’ve also started reading into the concept of consciousness; it’s not really the type of thing you would learn about through television, newspapers, or school, so I am glad that the internet has afforded me an opportunity to learn about concepts that I wouldn’t have otherwise stopped to think about.

Quote source

Vallicella, B. (2012). Nagel’s Reason for Rejecting Theism. Available: Last accessed 4th Oct 2013.


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