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The Future of God (A Conversation between Deepak Chopra, M.D. and Kyra Phillips, CNN)
Deepak Chopra presents the materialist theory that consciousness emerges from neural activity of the brain. The Turbine theory of consciousness suggests that vital thoughts, feelings, inspirations are the result of random chemistry and electrical charges in your brain. But science cannot explain how atoms and molecules produce subjective experience.
We use all kinds of words but the fact is we don’t know, it’s nothing. There’s not anything you can pin down, so the answer to your question, “What is reality?” Science says nothing. So now the second answer is we wouldn’t know all of this unless we were conscious beings. Right? We wouldn’t have this conversation. We wouldn’t know that something exists. Even though that something seems to be nothing, we would not know that something exists unless we had consciousness. So the question is, “How does consciousness get produced?” Now for the last 300 years scientists have said, “Oh it’s made up in the brain.” You know the brain is like a turbine. You move it enough you knock these particles enough in the brain then suddenly they produce thought, imagination, insight, intuition, creativity, anything that is vital. So the theories… I call it the Turbine Theory of Consciousness. Like you move a turbine and it generates electricity. So you somehow jiggle these atoms in the brain and they produce imagination and thought. So for 300 years scientists have said that. But then you say, how? How does a molecule or electro-chemicals in the brain produce vital experience? The answer is we don’t know. So if I ask you, imagine a beautiful sunset in the ocean… You can see a picture right? There’s no picture in your brain, there’s electricity and chemicals but you see a picture. Your father is speaking to you right now, remember his voice, and remember your favorite song. What do you, you have an experience, ok there’s nothing there in the brain. But similarly when I look at you, when I really look at you or look at a beautiful flower… what comes to my eyes is photons. They have no color, they have no dimensionality, and they produce chemical reactions in my eyes. Electrical current goes from my retina to my brain and voila I see a three dimensional world in space-time with Kyra and flowers, colors, and smells. How does that happen? We don’t know. So there’s no understanding of a biological basis on consciousness and there’s no understanding of existence. We don’t know what existence is. And we don’t know, how do we know there is existence because we have a feeling that we exist. We have a feeling that the universe exists. The answer to both these questions is we don’t know. And this is regular science, today’s science. The two most important questions!