The Big Question Is: Is there credible evidence for God in the human mind and consciousness?
To the onlooker it appears an unremarkable sponge-like object. To Professor Chris Frith: “the total number of possible connections within this human brain are greater than the number of particles in the known universe.” The brain is not only the personal HQ of every individual, it is also the source of a deep mystery. How does it link to our sense of being conscious human beings with a sense of the past, the present, the future and of each other? It is such a deep mystery! Science is unable to explain why consciousness exists or what it is. Across the world, the vast majority of people are associated with some kind of religion: a sort of consciousness of God. In the western world, especially in Europe, grand cathedrals make statements in stone about the majesty and the glory of God. However, across the world human beings also have a strong tendency towards superstition. SO……
- Instead of being real, might religion just be a form of superstition?
- Does the fact that specific religions are popular in specific parts of the world indicate that religion is merely an invention of the culture?
- Is it also possible that religions have more in common than divides them?
- Might this be a highly significant factor in trying to answer the God question?
“If we’re created by some kind of god who wants to have positive engagement with us, then our very nature is going to be receptive,” says Oxford University’s Justin Barrett. The second part of “Mind, Consciousness and The God Question” scrutinises human accounts of experiences of God. Priests in a Catholic seminary near New York maintain that they “know the presence of God in their souls” and defend themselves against the claim that they have merely engaged in wishful thinking. An ex drug addict meanwhile gives God the credit for the revolutionary change in her life. It is a testimony echoed by a group of prisoners in Darrington high security prison in Texas. Their dramatic story is transforming prison life. BUT:
- Might the true explanation just be in human psychology?
- Could a ‘god gene’, when activated, be responsible for the feeling that God is in human experience but it’s all down to imagination?
- Isn’t this Christianity delivering what it claims to offer?
- Wouldn’t this be a test of truth?
All is examined in Mind, Consciousness and The God Question. So much for trying to find God in life but what about trying to find God in death? Hammersmith hospital, London is a participant in a worldwide experiment to test the reality of near death experiences and reports of a ‘world beyond’ coming from patients who were clinically brain dead but were then resuscitated. One interviewee claims to have spent 90 minutes in heaven at a time when, after a road accident, he was clinically dead. So might there be evidence here of life after death? The advice of consultant psychiatrist Peter Fenwick is: “Ask the dying. They know.” So does the evidence suggest that God is real – or ‘all in the mind’? Are atheists justified in claiming that the only reality is what science reveals? The evidence for God might hang on whether or not they are right. It’s a judgement for viewers to make for themselves.
To help viewers determine a contributor's stance on the topics discussed within The God Question, we have introduced a series-wide colour coding scheme; Theists, Atheists and Neutral Contributors.