November 18, 2010
At the EPS annual meeting in Atlanta, I presented a paper critiquing Graham Oppy's objections (from Arguing about gods) against an argument for God's existence based on the reality of finite, irreducible consciousness or its regular correlation with brain states (AC).
In my estimation, Oppy, an atheist, has launched the most effective criticism to date of this argument. Thus, I sought to undercut Oppy’s central defeaters of AC. In particular, I argued, first, that Oppy has not provided successful defeaters against the use of a distinctive form of explanation—personal explanation—employed in premise (3) of my AC. For Oppy tries to argue that the theist's use of personal explanation regarding consciousness is a bogus form of explanation, and that consciousness is just as natural in an atheist worldview as it is in a theistic one. Thus, given the low prior probability of theism for Oppy, any slight advantage the theist may gain from the reality of consciousness is offset. I respond to these arguments and conclude that Oppy has failed to provide adequate defeaters of the argument for God from consciousness.