“Cogito, ergo sum” is a principle first introduced by Renee Descartes that translates from Latin to English as “I think, therefore, I am.” I never gave this principle much thought until recently, when I began to wonder about cognition and self-awareness. Theists have been making futile and nonsensical attempts to attribute self-awareness and morality to an external source such as their God. They attempt to make the argument that we are unique from other life forms on this planet due to our being created in the image of their imagined deity.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when discussing anything with theists is that they are always arguing from the presupposition that the bible is true. When they search for evidence in the sciences or philosophy or any other secular discipline they always try to make the evidence conform to their presuppositions and beliefs. The bible teaches them that the Earth, moon, sun, and stars were all made for man. That man was put here to tend to the earth and to live for God and to worship him etc.
14And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, 15and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, (NIV).
Notice that these verses say nothing about the universe! That’s because the authors were speaking about what they knew at the time about the world they lived in. They had no idea that the stars were actually suns, or that there was a vast universe beyond the heavens. Their idea back then of a great achievement was to build a tower that reached unto the heavens; which at that time was believed to be the dwelling place of God. Genesis 11:4
The people of Israel were commanded to: 5. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5). This is what this post is all about! Luke 10:27 includes the word mind in this commandment and I think that that is the only thing that he gets right. The first problem here is that you can’t love the Lord with your “soul” since its very existence has never been proven; you can’t love him with all your heart since your heart does not produce emotions. The only way you can love the Lord or love anything or anyone at all is with your mind!
In its simplest interpretation I believe that Descartes was right. The mind is the seat of consciousness, awareness, and emotions. The very idea that you have the ability to think, reflect, recall, or have any idea at all is all a product of the human brain. I am convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that biology explains everything we need to know about our existence on this planet. There is no need for any esoteric and ridiculous explanations which in my opinion only complicate the matter further. Christians in particular are stuck with seeking a reason for their existence. They can’t accept that they are just another product of evolution and part of the animal kingdom.
Consciousness or self-awareness does not require a God, but rather it is a product in my view of the evolution of the human brain. You don’t need to be a neurologist or medical doctor to figure this out, just do a little reading on the subject matter based on what we already have discovered through science without all the mystical woo man has invented. For instance, one of the most important muscles in the human body is the heart. Without the heart the human body including the brain would die. Simply because in order for our bodies and organs to function properly they require oxygen; this oxygen is distributed throughout the body by cells. The heart receives deoxygenated cells and pumps them to the lungs which in turn pump newly oxygenated cells back to the heart for distribution. If you want to learn more about this process I found a pretty straight forward article on it here.
It’s true that our brains are like the computer processor and it's sort of like the controller and conductor of all of our bodily systems functions; it too requires oxygen. If you don’t believe me, then have someone put you in an arm in triangle choke and you will see what I mean. This is how you make someone go unconscious, and believe it or not it only takes about 30 seconds when it is applied correctly.
Why do you think it is that people pass out when they are being choked out? The answer is simply because their brain is unable to function without oxygen. When you block the carotid arteries on both sides of the neck you have interrupted the flow of oxygen to the brain and as a result rendered your opponent unconscious.
The reason you are conscious and or aware of anything as I have stated is because your brain has evolved and that can be explained biologically. Our brains and even our bodies and their vestigial organs etc. are clear evidence of evolution in action. Without the woo you are literally what you think! If you think you are worthless you will develop self-esteem issues. If you think that you are always sick you will develop all sorts of psychosomatic disorders. Everything we are down to our senses, emotions, etc. are as a result of the mind.
Subjective experiences of the divine, ghosts, the paranormal are all created in the mind. The gods themselves, and this includes all gods, are the product of the human mind. Without the brain you can’t think, feel, see, hear, or even exist. Descartes got it right with those three simple words: “cogito,ergo sum.” I couldn’t have said it better myself! You are what you think, and you think because you are.
Note: All biblical quotations are taken from the New International Version of the bible.