You are here:

Atheism/Consciousness and quantum physics?

Advertisement


Question
Since plain old chemistry has proved it is certainly a great part of what makes a person who they are. See: Risperidone, Bupropion, Lithium Carbonate, Fluoxetine, Thorazine, Trilafon, Elavil, Imipramine, Ritalin, Escitalopram and Endep. These medications and others directly affect human behavior and mental illness. Why do you think consciousness, (which exists in many creatures, birds, rodents, apes, dogs, etc. Consciousness is not exclusive to humans.) is connected to quantum physics? Is there any solid proof? Or is this just an hypothesis or assumption?

Answer
Hello,

Again, I reiterate that this is just a conjecture in response to your (and others) inquiries into whether atheists "wonder" whether there may not be some kind of afterlife. Here I will refer you to two previous answers I gave:

http://en.allexperts.com/q/Atheism-2724/2008/7/Quantum-Conciousness.htm

http://en.allexperts.com/q/Atheism-2724/Ref-consciousness.htm

While your references to chemicals, medicines is correct, this is only operative at the classical level of brain operation. (I.e. the assorted responses can be effected without the need to go to the quantum or sub-quantum level as would be the case for a sentient being post physical death.)

As for animals, their brain structure is assuredly different and there is no indication that they might have synaptic clefts for the Heisenberg uncertainty principle to operate. (Though, of course, being composed of matter, there would have to be matter waves associated with their physical constitutions)

Here, I think a useful book for you to read - though parts may be difficult- is Henry Stapp's "Mind, Matter and Quantum Mechanics".  Also my own book, The Aheist's Handbook to Modern Materialism' (Ch. 6)

Again, let me reiterate there is no "solid proof" for any of this and pushed to the wall I would even say there is no evidence of life after death, period, for anyone. But....in a stretch...a big one...this is the alternative I am conjecturing: an impersonal, non -local version which - in truth - wouldn't even be recognized as an "afterlife" since no individuality exists. (The de Broglie wave- based consciousness effectively submerged into all dispersed others)

But this is the best I can do for you when pushed in the "wonder" department to imagine "life after death"!

Also, there is no

Atheism

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Philip A. Stahl

Expertise

I specialize in the areas of scientific materialism and consciousness described as a materialist epiphenomenon. Also can answer questions pertaining to general atheism, atheist-agnostic differences etc.

Experience

I have been an atheist for over 36 yrs. and have written four books on the subject: 'The Atheist's Handbook to Modern Materialism'(2000), and 'Atheism" A Beginner's Handbook', 'Dialectical Atheism' (2011), 'Beyond Atheism, Beyond God' (2013)

Organizations
Intertel, Mensa, American Mathematical Society, American Astronomical Society, American Geophysical Union

Publications
Atheist articles: 'The American Atheist' magazine, assorted U.S. newspapers (e.g. Baltimore Sun, Denver Post); papers-articles published in Intertel's Journal: Integra. Books: 'The Atheist's Handbook to Modern Materialism'(2000), 'Atheism: A Beginner's Handbook' (2007), 'Dialectical Atheism' (2011), 'Beyond Atheism, Beyond God' (2013)

Education/Credentials
Master of Philosophy in Physics. Also took more than 3 yrs. of theology and metaphysics courses at a Catholic University (1964-67) - before I became an atheist. Thus, I have much more religious familiarity & background than many atheists.

Awards and Honors
Writers' Digest Award for the essay 'The Atheist in America' (2000), Government of Barbados research in solar physics award (1980-84), AAS Solar Physics Award (1984)

Past/Present Clients
American Atheists, Barbados Philosophical Society, Harrison College- Barbados, Colorado Springs Freethinkers

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.