Dr. Krauss’ Mind/Body Dilemma

“Any good inspector asks a lot of questions. Among the questions we need to ask Dr. Krauss are these: Are you a merely physical being? In other words, are you nothing but a collection of molecules, or are there also immaterial aspects to Lawrence Krauss? This question is particularly important, Dr. Krauss, with regard to what you believe about the relationship between your mind and your brain. Why? Because you produced a physical book in which you assert that all physical things have physical causes. But is your mind, which produced the book, merely physical?

No matter how Dr. Krauss answers this questions, his position will be defeated. If he says, “No, my mind is not merely physical-there’s an immaterial aspect to it,” then he denies his own assertion that all physical things must have physical causes because his own physical book was produced by his nonphysical mind.

If he says, “Yes, my mind is my brain, so my physical brain alone caused the book,” then we wouldn’t have any reason to beleive that anything in his book is true! This conclusion is unavoidable due to the nature of materialism.

Materialists like Dr. Krauss have no other choice than to assert that our are determined completely by physical reactions in the brain. For a materialist, the laws of physics determine everything we think and do. If that’s the case- if we are meat machines without free will- then we have no justification to believe anything we think, including any thought that atheism is true. As meat machines completely determined by the laws of physics, we cannot reason; we can only react.

“We are no different than a can of Coke fizzing,” As Doug Wilson put it in his debate with Christopher Hitchens. How can a fizzing can of Coke reason or do science? It can’t. So with his assertion that all causality is physical,  Krauss destroys himself along with our ability to reason or do science!

This is one of many ways in which atheism contradicts all common sense. You are freely reading this book right now and freely thinking about what you are reading. You are not merely a molecular computer who has no control over what you are doing or what you are thinking. And if you were, there would be no way in principle you could discover that, because any intellectual process you’d use to discover that would itself be completely determined by the laws of physics. To know you’re just a robot, you’d have to be more than a robot.”

(Turek, Stealing from God, 12-14)


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