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Does Consciousness Defeat Materialism?

There is a re-emerging interest in consciousness and the mind

What would it take for “consciousness,” undoubtedly a nebulous and broad term, to defeat the idea that the mind is no more than the brain? For Dean Radin, a parapsychology researcher who was featured on the Closer to Truth program this month, it depends on what you mean by matter.

“If you just look through history about the nature of matter, how has it changed historically, it has become more and more ephemeral. And I will imagine it will continue to become more ephemeral,” he said.

For Radin, then, matter is complicated, and if you look closely enough, ends up being “mostly nothing.” If you’ve seen the new Oppenheimer movie, directed by Christopher Nolan, perhaps you’ll remember the scene in which J. Robert Oppenheimer is describing the basics of quantum physics to his future wife, Kitty. This is a paraphrase, but basically, he says that what we think of as material, such as a glass, a table, or a human hand, is mostly empty space, held together by bonds of energy just strong enough to give the appearance of solidity. What a wild thought!

Radin goes on to show an affinity for panpsychism, the idea that the entire universe is endowed with a certain level of consciousness. From that baseline of consciousness, other properties, like energy, emerge.

Radin’s thoughts show a re-emergent interest in consciousness and how it impacts our understanding of the material world.

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Does Consciousness Defeat Materialism?